For the past two days, a flock of cliff swallows has been converging on a tiny mud puddle in the parking lot of the building where I work. There is a river just a few hundred feet away, where I'm sure they could find as much mud as they wanted, but apparently the mud in this puddle is just the right texture or something. I was going to try to photograph the swallows when I went for a walk at noon, but I could not get close enough without them scattering suddenly, like seeds in the wind, and disappearing. Then I looked down, and right at my feet was this:
I can't remember the name of this moth, but I was fascinated by the eye spots. It was dead, probably fallen off the front of a car.
As I walked on downtown, I passed a lilac bush where--was it a week ago already? Two weeks? --I had deliberately stopped to bury my nose in the clusters of pale purple blooms, inhaling the sweet, earthy fragrance. The flowers were gone now, just shriveled brown petals. When did they go? When did the first buds of spring give way to full summer? Where have I been? Sometimes it seems each flower, each marker along the continuum of the season, blooms for only a precious day before it is gone. Sometimes you don't even see the petals fall.
Across the street, at the senior apartment building, I glanced at the flower garden that someone takes the time to tend beautifully, and saw among the usual annuals a lupine in full bloom, with a color just on the raspberry side of purple. I had not seen a lupine that color before. It, too, will be gone like each passing day.
The streets seem quiet and deserted; yesterday was the last day of school. My own children are home, spending their first day of freedom from the classroom. The summer stretches out endlessly before them, while I just want to grasp and hold on to each moment, each petal as it falls.