Gloom and Bloom

I know not why, but for me the month of June often brings an extended case of the grumpy-blahs. This makes no sense. As a kid, school was my personal purgatory, and June should have been the high point of the year. I should be in the dumps come September if ancient history is still driving my year, but instead I tend to perk up when the weather cools off.

For whatever reason, I am the opposite of perky this time of year. I’m more anxious and down, more susceptible to the intentional evils of social media, despite how diligent I am about avoiding troll farms, doom scrolling, and so forth.

And yet, these annual clouds notwithstanding, there are also aspects of June that I find absolutely delightful. I have been purposely focusing on these glories lately in hopes of beating the blahs sooner rather than later.

Day lilies amaze me. A patch in even modestly favorable conditions can bloom every year for a century, and yet we name the plant based on the brief display made by each individual blossom. A flower with so much philosophical symbolism has to be worth appreciating.

Fireflies. They apparently tootle around in the soil doing Good Things for a two-year larval stage before they put on their magic show, and it is magic.

Verdure. Before the heat cranks up, and sometimes even if the heat cranks up, June present an embarrassment of greenery. Lawns, fields, forests, mountains… around me, it’s all green, and that is about the best anti-anxiety medication I know. As a gardener, I’m also reassured by the sheer tenacity of weeds. No matter how often I pull ’em up, and how many I toss on the compost heap, the weeds never give up. Blessed are the weeds.

Fresh air. Even though my house is powered with renewable energy, I avoid using air conditioning. Last  year, I resorted to a window unit for exactly twelve nights, turning it on for a couple hours to cool down my bedroom and then (usually) turning it off. I do, however, open up my house for the cooler hours–windows and doors, both floors, big fans whirling. Every way I can get fresh air into my space, I do it, and this is good for my mood and mind. I like a chilly, rainy day as well as anybody does, but a few of those back to back, and the air in my house feels manky. June is robustly a fresh air month.

The best showers of the year. Very little in the way of hedonistic pleasure compares with a cool shower at the end of a hot day, especially if I have been doing yard work or barn work. That sensation, of finally, finally getting cool and clean is utter, absolute bliss.

I could go on. Root beer popsicles (eighteen twin pops for $4.47 at my local Weis!) are proof of a benevolent deity, family summer picnics should be reason enough to fund our state and municipal parks. Birdsong in the  morning, cricket lullabies at night… this can be a lovely time of year.

Is there a season that seems to challenge you? A time of year when you seem to have more natural joie de vivre?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 comments on “Gloom and Bloom

  1. I’m almost the opposite of you in that I prefer summer and get more depressed in winter. It’s all a matter of light. I much prefer the longer days of brightness. When I lived in Michigan (for college) and northern California (for Silicon Valley), I always felt like the day was over and I should just go to sleep at about 4:30pm. Of course, I have electric lights so I don’t have to be in the dark but just knowing it was dark outside the drapes was enough to dampen my mood. One of the few advantages to living in central Florida is that we have a comparatively short season of early darkness. (I like my root beer best in a tall glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.)

  2. Pingback: Blooming on the Blog!!! | Grace Burrowes | I believe in love.

  3. I look forward to Spring and Summer every year….starting in January!
    Love the flowers, the green grass and the warmth.

    The corgis and I love to listen to the birds in the morning. It is a peaceful time …no cars, Amazon trucks or landscapers. I need the time to transition into work mode.

    Winter challenges me. The snow, the ice, the shoveling. Yuck

  4. I anticipate June with trepidation. Here in the South, June represents the last possible chance of comfortable temperatures until October. Yes, the greens are deep and the flowers splendid, but the burning temperature of patio tiles on my bare feet and the miserable humidity make me grumpy. We – and our plants – will be gasping, droopy and dispirited over the next few weeks before we can hope to see rain. Like Grace’s weeds, our unwanted invaders have emerged stronger than ever! My whining is boring and exhausting, so I remind myself to be grateful for this year’s unusually long, cool and rainy spring. I am grateful not to work on an airport tarmac, or in highway maintenance, or in construction; grateful for the latitude to arrange my work and activities as I wish.

  5. It’s green here, as in your picture, but not the green that turns Jersey cream orange…

    My windows are closed and I try to remember a mask outdoors. Bad pollen allergies. However, it means the hay is down and a lovely color this cut. Winter will come.

    The fire maps are posted and a new water bomber flew past my window the other day, checking lakes and airstrips. I believe the last of our renovated B52s have been retired.

    Autumn is likely my favorite time. I love office supplies: brand new number 2 pencils, gum erasers, gold stars. I whirl with the leaves. We have only one maple, thankfully. In fifteen years, I have only found one acorn from our oak that didn’t disappear in the night.

    And March is a challenge. It can and does snow. It dries up and road salt/gravel sandblasts everything. The bears may come forth cranky. And so am I.

  6. Oh my gosh, now I want root beer popsicles!! Yum!
    We used to get banana ones when I was a child and I ADORED Them.
    I loved summer for decades, but as I get more mature (ahem!) I find my body doesn’t tolerate the heat as well. Fall has become my favorite season now.

  7. I love June-work it’s done for the summer and there is time to just read. I was at a conference last week in Indiana and had a special summer-only experience.
    Was leaving a meeting late without a friend from Australia and mentioned that I’d just seen the first firefly of the evening.(color doesn’t have them so I do always notice.) She stopped cold and stared; she’d never seen them-thought they weren’t real-so we sat and watched as the evening drew on and the lawns lit up. She really thought they were fairies, I think. It was lovely!

    • Another of the confusing true/false animal kingdom pairings. Dinosaurs true, dragons false. Narwhals true, unicorns false. Fireflies true, fairies false. Working in a children’s bookstore I have been surprised by how many adults haven’t got a firm grasp on these and are schooled by their young friends while browsing. Axolotls hardly ever fool kids because of minecraft but many adults assume they are mythical. Many strange conversations are overheard in bookstores.

  8. Just living can be a challenge! Each season of the year offers challenges of it’s own, Winter icey streets, Summer weeds and deadheading of beautiful plants, Fall the collection of leaves for disposial or just examination of beauty, Spring the hope that is renewed with cool breeses and new plants for the garden.
    Let us all just enjoy living and facing the challenge of each day as a surprise.

  9. I love June; the smell of fresh cut grass (though someone just informed me that scent is a warning to other plants and animals that danger is imminent), the smell of rain on hot blacktop, the feel of cool pattering rain on evening dog walks, the sound of water rushing into wading pools, the greening of everything and all the amazingly different colors of green, the sound of the pond waterfall in the mornings and the bull frogs croaking as I mediate on the patio, and yes, the fireflys. I think the only thing I don’t love about June is the mosquitos. I can count on being able to sit on my patio through about Memorial Day and then the mosquitos start making it less lovely.
    But June is my second favorite month of the year. Crisp October mornings that melt into warm afternoons and the return of wood burning fireplace smoke …. ahhhhh October, you’re the best!