Summer weather…

fog and roses 003

August… high summer… when the rush-hour traffic melts away and the roads are driveable, even at eight in the morning. A time of beaches and sandcastles, of ice-cream and strawberries. Of flowerbeds that are a carnival of colour… of sunshine and suntans… Or, in England… fog.

Opening the curtains this morning was a waste of time. It didn’t get any lighter, and one look outside was enough to realise that it probably wouldn’t. The dog took eyed the torrential rain that battered the roses and went back to bed with a look of disgust. I couldn’t blame her…but like it or not she needed a walk before I left for work. We agreed… eventually… that we would indeed venture beyond the threshold, but Ani displayed none of her usual enthusiasm. To Ani, water should be confined to the pools and streams where she can get a mud bath.

If there is one thing we are good at in England it is weather. The variations we manage are quite stunning. Sunday last I managed to come home beetroot red, in spite of long sleeves and soft cotton. Today, I am thinking seriously about putting the heating on, to at least dispel some of the mouldering and all-pervading dampness that seems to have settled on every surface. I am cold, my bones ache and it feels like December… except that winter is just as likely to be mild and sunny…

I have to wonder though. Is it summer? Or is that just an arbitrary division of the year to which we doggedly hold, bound in place by our ideas of family holidays and the closure of the schools? The earth seems to think otherwise. Technically, I suppose it is, but we are, after all, already closer to the autumnal equinox than summer solstice. The harvest is being gathered, bales of gold dot the fields, there are ripe blackberries on the brambles and many flowers have already set seed.

Maybe it is a question of semantics and association. Speak of summer and the mind wanders to balmy days, leisure and laughter. It is our image, based on the memories that spring to the surface when we say the word… yet time does not stand still and summer melds imperceptibly with autumn, just as it had melted from spring for one brief burst of glory.

We like to have things neat and tidy in our minds and speak of the ‘first day of summertime’ as if the seasons will change at our instigation, or at least with some modicum of punctuality, when in fact there is no immediate transformation, more a gradual blurring as the seasons flow, one into another. I think it may be because Nature is beyond our control that we seek to cage her with our definitions and timescales. No matter how we manipulate genetic coding, defy medical conditions or learn to use the forces of the natural world, we are, at some level, conscious that Mother Nature still looks on with maternal indulgence at our meagre efforts to harness natural laws and bring them to our service.

We can delay, but cannot conquer, death. We can fertilise an embryo in a Petrie dish… but can we actually give it life when we cannot even adequately define it? Or are we merely taking the raw materials that Nature has given us to form a vessel, in the same way that the potter takes clay and water to shape a cup to hold the wine?

As to the weather… we have no chance. Ask an Englishman…

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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22 Responses to Summer weather…

  1. Beautiful post! Seasons blurring into one another … that’s exactly how it works! Here in Athens, we had our first greyish day yesterday and it smelled of rain, although it didn’t rain. As my wife says, every season has in it the seeds of the next. Yesterday, we saw the seeds of autumn in our otherwise glorious summer. Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really lovely post, Sue. I truly enjoyed that stream of consciousness. I long for summer to end and fall and winter to begin.

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  3. Lovely piece that flowed like the seasons. Fog doesn’t bother me unless I have to drive in it. I miss the autumn turning of the leaves and brisk coolness. 🙂

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  4. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    Thoughtful, Sue. It’s actually glorious in Pembrokeshire today. After two days of catching up here I’ve promised a day in the garden to Husband. Not a bad deal, looking through the window! Jx

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  5. TanGental says:

    Do you think our definitions were to ‘cage’ or ‘make sense of’ nature’s vagaries? Lovely post. I agree that the inability to control is one of both delight and frustration and the kaleidoscope of weather we are lucky to enjoy (and endure) here in England is one of the reasons why I’d love nowhere else (leaving aside the importance of decent tea, cricket, a proper understanding of cake in the diet…) Much enjoyed this.

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      I have to wonder, you know. Initially I believe the seasons were observed and followed… sow and reap at the appropriate time. Later, our scientifc observations allowed us to stick labels on everything as if we actually understand because we can define and name… which isn’t quite the same. I feel too that there is a fear factor; what we cannot control, we can at least put in a neatly labelled box.
      I’ve lived elsewhere and loved it.. but now, these isles are where I want to stay. The weather gives us the green land and the heather. And proper strawberries for the scones 😉

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      • TanGental says:

        It is probably a mix isn’t it. I copied your post to Charli Mills who was posting about a double death in yellows tone bear kills man so men kill bear with people wanting to blame someone rather than accept it was dumb bad luck. Your post had me thinking how as we’ve passed to our secular state we no longer blame whatever gods we believe in so have to find responsibility nearer home. All part of that need to both control and believe someone has control if we don’t. And yes even South African heather isn’t as good as ours. And no one does strawberry like us

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        • Sue Vincent says:

          I wonder if we did ‘blame’ the gods or just accept that it was their nature origninally? Was there a shift in consciousness as we organised into tighter and more partisan groups and divisions that sowed the seeds of the blame culture we have today?
          We have three quarters of the world’s heather on our little islands…you can’t better a sea of heather 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. British weather is always changeable, but it’s been crazy this summer, with the temperature changing from one minute to the next. I’ve had to change my clothes several times a day – sweater to T-shirt to padded jacket to no jacket, etc etc – I can’t keep up with it!
    I was sorry to read your comment on Judith’s blog that Ani isn’t very well – I hope she feels better soon.

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  7. Mary Smith says:

    This week we had one absolutely glorious, hot day. I put my shorts on! The following day was grey – no rain, but grey clouds all day. Yesterday it rained. Today it has stayed dry, there’s been some blue sky and warm enough for me to remove one of my many layers. And, despite what seems to me to be an appalling summer, everywhere is so lush and green and the wild flowers are amazing this year.

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  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Trying to control that which cannot be controlled is the folly of humans. How the Beast must roll her eyes! 😉

    Like

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