Emily Dickenson, for August

The beginning of summer always feels like a good stretch to me, like the frantic pace of life is just what I’ve needed to release pent-up energy. After a while, though, all of the hard work stretches me thin. I have a hard time figuring out how to recharge my batteries when there’s still so much to be done, and sometimes things like quiet reflection and serious contemplation go out the window to make room for a couple more minutes of playing in the sprinkler with the kids. 

Thankfully, I can sometimes turn to others to help me express what I need to. I admire Emily Dickenson’s poetry on nature because she holds simple, whimsical details in equal esteem with celestial events of breathtaking awe, evoking in me a sense that all of the natural world is at once quaint, familiar, mysterious, and miraculous.

TWO butterflies went out at noon

And waltzed above a stream,

Then stepped straight through the firmament

And rested on a beam;

And then together bore away

Upon a shining sea,—

Though never yet, in any port,

Their coming mentioned be.

If spoken by the distant bird,

If met in ether sea

By frigate or by merchantman,

Report was not to me.

NATURE rarer uses yellow

  Than another hue;

Saves she all of that for sunsets,—

  Prodigal of blue,

Spending scarlet like a woman,

  Yellow she affords

Only scantly and selectly,

  Like a lover’s words.