Photo: Bob Gray

BOB GRAY: Midsummer

I remembered reading that, if time ever stops, it's on a summer afternoon.

Photo: Bob Gray

In the heat of a recent afternoon, in the midst of half-hearted attempt at garden work, I leaned on my hoe for a moment and looked considered what was around me.

At my feet, broccoli leaves drooped like tired elephant’s ears. Birds flicked, songless and dusty, from shade to shade. Heat shimmered off the brown grass. Not the slightest whisper of breeze disturbed the stillness.

It was as if the earth, its rush to grow, its blooming and fruiting completed, hung still for that moment. I remembered reading that, if time ever stops, it’s on a summer afternoon.

In the heat, I stood as still as time, content to be quiet and still, considering where my work had brought me, knowing where I was and wondering where I might be.

The sense is almost like the vision I often have when I’m kayaking; even as I wheel around to cross the pond again, I must cross my own my own ripples to get where I’m going. It’s as if it is your past, and everything that populates it might make your journey a little bumpy and unsure.

But standing alone, my own rush forgotten for a minute or two, I’m able to be still in the moment and let the quiet rhythms of the day take me away to a calmer, emptier place bearing no pasts and free from any concerns about the future.