Recall the scorching Summer of 2009. In that summer, vines, heavy with tomatoes, scaled and overwhelmed tomato cages. There was so much fruit that some fell to waste. A habañero in a pot on the back deck produced sackfuls of fiery orange peppers. Two varieties of cucumbers (slicers and lemons) thrived. They sprawled across the back deck; they covered the expanse between the raspberry canes and the walkway. The summer was too bold, too reckless for lettuce or spinach. Those wilted away early beneath unrelenting sun.
When next the planet rote, Pacifica was in less generous spirits. In the Summer of 2010, she chose never to sleep and cast forth her cool showers and her haggard gray strata. In August the tomato cages towered over scrawny vines. When that summer passed, it was like the passing of a precocious child; a bright promise, forever unfulfilled.
Today, a proud sun beckoned me to climb up on Tabor again. I'm on the look-out, searching for some omen from which I might divine how it will be with this Summer of 2011. (The omen-searching is a thing that people who have lived long in a place will do.) From Tabor's vantage I looked east where Old Man Hood brooded, one cloudy hand to his brow. I looked west where the city blossomed in the brazen afternoon.
I saw nothing that led me to believe anything about the summer to come. Hot, cold, or temperate. No god chose to answer my unpronounced query.
But with the sun striking my face, I smiled down on the city. And I did come to the realization that I have never stood at any great vantage and yet failed to be enchanted and heart-broken by the beauty of the view.