I read some stories about the Shaker culture who used to construct this canopy of a great bough of leaves, called a “Bower.” It was a place they went to worship and receive divine light–what they believed to be the light of God. Somehow the sun was not miraculous or divine enough for them, so they would go into the Bower and shake and chimp out thinking the sun was laying a different, holier kind of light on them.
This time of year, especially a day like today, late summer comes with a whisper of autumn; a chill to let us know what awaits us in a scant 30 days or so. I love days like this, the sun still high up in the sky in the late afternoon and the shadows creeping ever longer each day.
My back porch is a magic place this time of year; cool enough to draw outside and watch the birds at my feeder. Every once in a while, a squirrel tries to muscle in on the feeder and I have to throw shit at them. I mostly let my dog, Chooch, out in the yard because he doesn’t bother the birds and will chase the squirrels away. He has introduced three squirrels to Jesus and they don’t fuck around with him anymore. The word is out in the squirrel community.
In my neighborhood, there are gorgeous pines and oaks and maple trees, the odd exotic here and there, a Japanese weeping cherry tree in my neighbor’s yard and some tall elms frame the end of the block. The Ukrainians who settled this neighborhood planted as many trees as they could. My neighbors say it is kind of an effort to recreate the place they come from. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for the green thumbs of this neighborhood’s settlers. They’ve added much beauty to my life.