The World of Leaf and Blade

June 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

“In June man, hustled by instinct, mows grass, riffles the earth with seeds, and locks in combat with mole and rabbit, ant, beetle, bird, and all others who gather to take his garden from him.  Woman looks at the curling-edge petals of a rose and melts a little and sighs, and her skin becomes petal and her eyes are stamens.

“June is gay – cool and warm, wet and shouting with growth and reproduction of the sweet and the noxious, the builder and the spoiler.  The girls in body-form slacks wander the High Street with locked hands while small transistor radios sit on their shoulders and whine love songs in their ears.  The young boys, bleeding with sap, sit on the stools of Tanger’s Drugstore ingesting future pimples through straws.  They watch the girls with level goat-eyes and make disparaging remarks to one another while their insides whimper with longing . . .

“In June the happy seed of summer germinates.  ‘Where shall we go over the glorious Fourth of July? . . .It’s getting on time we should be planning our vacation.’  June is the mother of potentials, ducklings swim bravely perhaps to the submarine jaws of snapping turtles, lettuces lunge toward drought, tomatoes rear defiant stems toward cutworms, and families match the merits of sand and sunburn over fretful mountain nights loud with mosquito symphonies.”

-John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

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