It has been a season of fits and starts. I struggle to find the rhythm of creativity. There are moments when I catch the thread of it, begin to weave it into the trace of a pattern. But then the design is lost, strands abandoned on the loom or fading into incoherence. This is not a fallow period, nor a fit of the doubt doldrums. It is something altogether more insidious than that. Anxiety haunts my mornings and the year is vexed by a mercurial bleakness. And the poverty of creative inspiration disquiets me.
The weather too can’t settle into a rhythm. Languid days fretted with heat, the air thick, close and stale. I struggle to breathe in the treacly heat. Rain of every kind: heavy splodges, misty drizzle, pin-prick hail. Moments of storm-quiet, those rich, still moments when you feel the coming of the storm in your blood. And magnificent rumbles of thunder, moaning across the sky as though they never want to end.
The summer meadows are blooming, but already the flowers look crisp and ragged around the edges. The Dene beds are empty of water, the ponds stagnant. Wild cherries jewel the trees and lie abandoned on the grass, unwanted by the birds. But small creatures flutter everywhere, over clouds of ox-eye daisies that invade the land like delicate occupiers. The birds are quieting, as they do after the hard work of spring. This is weather to seek out a patch of grass under the shade of a tree and to feel its cooling balm.
I struggle with this part of the season. My body feels the turn of the solstice, the inconspicuous move towards shorter days. I begin to long for autumn, for curling up and turning inwards. I dislike the heat and the excesses of summer, my least favourite season. But we are just moving into the most extrovert months of the year, long hot days filled with the voices of freed children, the acid tang of barbecue smoke and the waft of music. It’s a paradox that my spirit battles against. But this, like every other season, like every state of mind, is transient and perhaps this year, the pattern is an acceptance of that.