The lore on the Olympic Peninsula is that Summer starts on July 4th. It seems uncannily true. We have all day sun pretty consistently from the 4th through some time in September. Until then, during what we call Spring, we have amazing arrays of cloudy days, drizzle, and rolling fog. We’ll still have fog roll in on many summer mornings, which is why I post the rare gorgeous sunrises when they are offered, if I’m awake around 5 AM, which I usually am.
And, like the R.L. Stevenson poem,
In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.
I’m from the East Coast, most people I meet out here aren’t surprised to learn that about me. But like many others, I’ve learned to love the Pacific Northwest. I may even have become a PNW poet.
When I'm not thinking about you, I learn the names of trees I've learned to tell the fir from the yew; the silver from the red cedar. At sunrise, there is a thin glint of light northeastward where I await Mt Baker's frozen specter careening over Discovery Bay. The lamps of Port Townsend blink; strands of fog hang over fields. Peckish deer nibble dandelions. I spare my lawn for their graze. The squirrels, miniature and rust-bellied, easily reach the hanging bird seed. I don't try to learn bird calls, they come to feed and that's enough. There are rumors of big cats. I've seen two elk— one stared through me as if she knew my secrets, the other, roadkill. You once told me my poems are too grim and I should try my hand at something more pastoral. I've seen powdered snow on Cedars, and I've grown passably fond of rain. Everyday, the clouds amaze.
Love this poem, Risa.
Thank you Steve!
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