Violet and I went for a walk today. I showed her the packed clusters of fuzzy red berries on the sumac trees. Together, we examined the fruits of grape vines and baneberry, the former still hard and green but soon to be nearly black, soft and sweet, the latter white and poisonous, but only to us humans. Birds will consume most of the fruits we found, intent on fattening up for the hard months ahead. We passed by the pond, a company of water striders performing on its surface. Their movements caught Violet’s eye, and she stopped her soft speaking to watch, her unblinking blue eyes reflecting the erratic, constant motion at the other end of her gaze. As we walked the meadow path, she reached out and grabbed a handful of yellow flowers - the first goldenrod blooms, and the sight of them was a small sadness. Their appearance signals that the summer is terminal, closer now to its end than to its beginning, no matter what a calendar says. Over the coming weeks, goldenrod blooms will spread and be falsely accused of bringing on allergies (ragweed is the true culprit), and not soon after they will be joined by the purple hues of the field asters, the yellow of the goldenrods and the purple of the asters growing brighter as the grasses brown with age around them. This is what I pictured as I hiked up our hill, Violet on my chest, her first summer half over. Gone is the baby who stayed put, who couldn’t sit or crawl. She is turning into someone else, and there’s no way to know exactly what comes after.
250 days old