Summers on the Prairies are as hot as the winters are cold. But our extreme climate changes, keep us from becoming ‘bored’ for lack of a better word. The skies are always an amazing surprise especially through the summer.
I remember my summer vacations growing up in a remote prairie town in Canada. I was having the best years of a life that I wish was still around for me today. I just didn’t know it back then.
Except for those ‘what I called horrid’ times of berry picking when I had to wear all of the ‘cover up clothing while Mom banged a stick to scare away whatever, and hanging out Monday’s wash, with Mom, I pretty much got to do whatever I wanted in a day. I played outdoors without a complaint in the sweltering heat from morning until after campfire and then was sent to bed. Notice I wrote: ‘bed’ … not ‘sleep’. I went upstairs to my ‘bed’, where I wrote about my day in my journal, as I chose to title it….(it was a plain scribbler). Even if it was a boring one. Somehow writing about it gave it value for the future. Besides, Dad told me that about everything I wrote. He said: “South Paw, things don’t often happen twice. At least not exactly the same, so you had better write down the way it was today. You never know it might be important somewhere down the road.”
Of course I am thinking famous published author for National Geographic or something like that. Well he was right in a different way because I am grateful I wrote as much as I did. And I am thankful my Mother saved them where she knew I would find them. That ‘important someday’ is here and they are invaluable to me and other members of the family. OUR PIECE OF PRAIRIE SKY will be published when the time is right and I know without a doubt that my sisters, my children, my parents and grandparents would be the happiest that I carried it through.
Suppers were very late during harvest because everyone did their share in working until dark. I still waited with Shep at the edge of the field every evening, just to get my chance at driving the tractor to the yard. It was way more exciting driving with headlights on.
After our meal, Dad had his tea with Mom outside. I took a cool bath and we had a short campfire while Dad told me about the family of deer that he saw grazing early in the morning.
As soon as I was off to bed, I began to complain about the heat. My room was hot and stuffy. There wasn’t a cool spot ANYWHERE!
The night seemed endless and I couldn’t sleep a wink. As a last resort, I usually threw my blanket on the floor. Even the linoleum stuck to my cheek after a minute or two.
The old Whipporwill in the nearby tree called out relentlessly. As I listened to him over and over, my mind seemed to form what he is saying about the hot summer night.
Somehow, daybreak has arrived although I’m positive I never slept at all. I awaken to a miraculous sound…The summer wind coming through my window is fresh and cool…That sound & fragrance is: RAIN.
That changed everything as I pulled my blanket onto my bed and drifted into a deep sleep so thankful that winter is a long way off. It doesn’t matter that today will be another hot summer day under our prairie sky and tonight will no doubt bring another:
HOT SUMMER NIGHT
Looking out my window on a clear summer night…
Stars in a endless sky…Twinkle bright.
My window is open…As wide as can be…
Hoping for Summer Wind…To comfort me.
Everything’s still…Except Whipporwill
Telling our house…”It’s a Hot Summer Night!
It’s a Hot Summer Night!”
How I wish I was out in a tent…open wide.
I’d let the Lightening bugs come inside.
I’ve got a story … But it’s ‘way too hot…
So I turn off my flashlight and say: “Maybe not.”
Staring at the sky… How far does it go?
That is God’s mystery…I wish I could know.
It’s much too hot up here in my room!
I keep praying and wishing for morning soon.
I throw off my blanket, stretch it out on the floor…
While I listen to Whipporwill…Complain EVEN MORE!
“Hot Summer Night! Hot Summer Night!”
I climb back in bed, toss and turn trying to sleep.
But even my pillow is too hot ‘gainst my cheek.
I try to think and make myself sleepy…
But Owl is hooting and makes me feel creepy.
Wish now that Whipporwill…Would just take a hike!
But he keeps on and on: “It’s a Hot Summer Night!”
When daylight arrives, I’ll run out exploring
Escape from my house… Don’t care if it’s pouring!
We haven’t had rain, in long over a week…
Barest of water is left in the creek.
Dad prayed at breakfast: “Lord, send water soon.
Our veggies are wilting by mid afternoon.”
“Tomorrow as soon as morning will come…
I’ll pack up a lunch to the creek I will run”.
Dad says: “Fish are hiding. No use trying your luck.
All they will do… Is get stuck in the muck!”
On my log I will sit, get my feet wet…
Catch floating bugs… With my old fishing net.
When I’m feeling too scorched…I’ll jump right in!
Splash cool murky water on my suntanned skin.
As the prairie sun moves direct over me…
I will hide in the shade of my climbing tree.
It’s now close to morning and what sound do I hear?
Was it me praying…Or dreaming?
NO! It’s suddenly clear!
“IT’S RAINING! The air’s cool and fresh!”
I pull back the curtain… “God must have said: YES!”
We’ve all been set free, from the hot summer night.
The sky’s changing color…It’s almost full light.
I fluff up my pillow, breathe in the clean rain…
My blanket is cool on my bed … Again.
Even Whipporwill’s quiet… Settled into his place.
I turn to the window, Summer Wind touches my face.
“Thank You, God, for an answer to prayer.
You watered the garden. You cooled the night air.”
Dad will nod saying: “It turned out alright.
Now go catch some fish, for our dinner tonight.”
I listen to sounds as the last drops have fallen…
That cooled the house and thirsty garden.
Now I close my eyes, with this thought in my head…
How happy I am… That it isn’t…
Thank you for Reading. I love you all and this might be posted again….Say about January when we need a reminder of warmer weather.
Memory Lanes Site @ www.pagesofmymindblog.com
Some photos by Pandanus Tree