humble star pie

Days like these in August are the reason spring is my favorite time of year.

I say this because I love to anticipate. Every year in March, when plants open and push up and ascend and don't stop, I'm amazed as I breathe in and remember how fragrant is the smell of promise. Then later after August has finally arrived and is ripening, I can stand out back in minimal clothing, with a sense of baked earth stretching every direction under immense sky -- though I can't see the breadth of it for the maturing beans and mulberries and bamboo and the houses and crimson king maples and mountains. I sense my body living in tune with earth, fashioned from it, and in a sense touching the promise, or part of a promise very dear. Consequently, I reenter rooms needing swipes of the duster and sweeps of the straw broom, and too easily I neglect those and return to words.

I did bake two pies last Saturday.

Sunday, an invitation came from friends to watch the Perseids. That very warm day melded into a country evening, with much more earth and sky visible than I usually see. After dusk, I lay on my back on a trampoline, a wonderful star-gazing vantage, especially with friends -- some older and some younger -- on their backs around me, our heads arranged toward the large circle's center.

We didn't see this, exactly:
[caption id="attachment_6036" align="aligncenter" width="599"] photo by David Kingham[/caption]

But several showery star-kids crossed our view. Conversations drifted. Someone mentioned their challenges in a living situation. I posited that maybe families were wiser and more humble in past eras (at least sometimes) because they could see more sky. (Like Kunte Kinte's people, I do well to receive reminders of my smallness.)

The later it got, the more often I thought about a passage from Charlotte's Web, from when Charlotte the spider is answering a question posed by Wilbur the pig (who generally is quite humble), about what Charlotte is making, up high in the darkness where Wilbur can't see.

"Is it something for me?" asked Wilbur.
"No" said Charlotte. "It's something for me, for a change."
"Please tell me what it is," begged Wilbur.
"I'll tell you in the morning," she said. "When the first light comes into the sky and the sparrows stir and the cows rattle their chains, when the rooster crows and the stars fade, when early cars whisper along the highway, you look up here and I'll show you something. I will show you my masterpiece."

It's one of my favorite passages. I would have been content to remain on the trampoline until Monday's first light came into the sky, but we needed to get going. In darkness our car whispered along the highway, while I carried away with me another tiny piece of promise before the rooster crowed.

Comments

jodi said…
Beautiful.
Shelley said…
Wow, Deanna - very smooth, you capture the sense of the experience. Our small, comfortable place in a very large universe that's not all about us.
Carol Webster said…
Beautiful. I remember that August night in the country near Lebanon when we and your family watched the meteors while lying on our backs in the field next to the house. Summer stillness, slight breezes, and the fresh perfume of a summer night. It reminds me of my childhood experiences when I wanted to stay outdoors all the time. Thanks for stirring my memories.
Deanna said…
Hi, Jodi. Thanks for reading. :o)

Shelley, I'm glad this sounded right to you. Love your second sentence.

Mom, yes, you said it well about that night at your place. Hope you'll be writing more of your memories!
Dee Ready said…
Dear Deanna, this posting was and is beautiful. You captured the starry night just as Van Gogh did. He with canvas and oils; you with words and keyboard. Two art forms, both perfectly realized. Peace.