Under the green roof, a hummingbird hovering in the cactus orchids, the urgency of a Swainson’s thrush, again, again, again, and the scent of rosemary. It is almost too hot to drink coffee. Almost.
It is not the summer you expected. The lilies are sun-burned, the bees are lying low. But when you see 8 of them in the hypericum, busy at the long stamens with the pollen grains quivering under their wings, you cut a bouquet and place the flowers at the base of the tomato plants, hoping your trick will work.
While you were swimming, swallows were stitching sky to water, water to sky. Two kingfishers further along the shore, swooping out, a flash of blue grey, like water, like sky. And what was that, a bird skimming the surface of the lake, dark until it turned, and you saw the brilliant shoulder patches of a red-winged blackbird. On your way home, 6 vultures in the tree above the lagoon where eagles usually watch for ducklings. Who has died on a summer morning, who is left?
Yesterday you were putting gifts in a box to mail next week for a 7th birthday and then the celebrant herself on your phone screen, proudly showing her certificate for Citizen of the Year.