To June, in her splendor and glory

photo by siegertmarc on flickr


Oh month of June, you cheeky thing.

You sneak up on me nearly every year after the slow Minnesota spring, everything growing so slowly we barely notice. We heed the daily temperatures, pay attention to how many layers we might need, decide whether we should water the bulbs pushing through black dirt still waking from winter’s slumber, or if we should think about blowing up the kiddie pool so the icy hose water can warm in the sun by afternoon. The week’s temperatures could differ by 50 degrees around here, so we’re afraid to fully embrace warmth when it comes, because it could retreat again tomorrow. April and May are just a big tease.

Then we just get busy — we’re finishing school, clearing out desks, uncovering the grill, considering when to mow the lawn for the first time this season, a thousand errands. When we’re not looking, you quietly slip in through the back door.

Though we’ve been longing for you since January, looking out and needing you here now, we thought we couldn’t stand another instant, we don’t even see you until you burst forth like a song on too-loud speakers.

You sing like a cheesy Disney musical anthem, it’s almost embarrassing, and we rub our eyes because suddenly everything is shocking green and dazzling purple, pink and orange, full of light and we wake up having kicked the comforter off in the night, the intoxicating cool breeze of June nights in our lungs. We realize, with a start, that summer is here. And in these parts, this is a season not to be squandered.

June, you know that Minnesotans feels differently about you. You’re hard-won here, and we suffer through long winters just to get back to you, to this spot in the sun’s favor. Those in more temperate climates may not even care that it’s June (we cant’ imagine!).

But here, you’re the lover who plays hard to get. We have fallen hard for you, all of us.

We can’t get enough of you. We are outdoors whenever possible, drinking you in, soaking you up, and we’re drunk on sunshine and happiness by day’s end. We fill every weekend, we’re camping and out by the fire and shoving our kids out the door at 8 a.m. because the shadow of winter is always there in the back of our minds. We know that like you, he’ll be back around before we know it, before we’re ready.

That’s why the windows of my home are flung open to you, June, because we’re taking every bit of you that we can, folding you into our sheets and letting the stale dust of other seasons blow around, we don’t remember them now because every tickling breeze and glint of showy sun whispers now, now, now. This is the time to revel and explore the woods and embrace everything beautiful and bright.

I don’t mind that my kids pick flowers from your abundance, that they lay down in your loamy dirt, that they come in with legs scratched up and faces streaked with dust. I hope you seep into their pores, that they bottle you up in their frames, and you’ll sustain us through the year.

Until we meet again.


Linking up at Emily’s place today.

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7 comments on “To June, in her splendor and glory

  1. Loved this… just beautiful. You made me fall even more in love with June than I already am. Our winters stretch too long too (in Oregon) and we have those teasing near-summer days but then jump on board and never come indoors once the sun is full in the sky and the chill has subsided. Thank you for transporting me to your post-winter-blues June wonderland.

  2. i adored every bit of this, kim. from the cheesy musical to the rubbing of eyes to picking flowers from june’s abundance… i love this person named June. she is wonderful.

  3. i am in wisconsin, but my family and all my summers have been spent in minnesota. so i know full well of how hard fought they are. you write it’s glory here well.

  4. Danelle says:

    This post made me smile. It happens much earlier here in Georgia.. but the sun shining after winter, those days where the boys just play outside until the fireflies shine brightly. . . I treasure those days.

  5. I live in Texas, so for me it’s just the opposite. It’s hard to welcome June when it may be sweltering and, if not, surely forebodes an often-intolerable July and August. September’s a little better, but I truly welcome October. When winter finally arrives (maybe in December), it’s sometimes hard to remember what it was like to wear a sweater.
    Such different worlds we live in. I’ve been invited to St. Paul in August, and I intend to go!

  6. Kath says:

    I have returned again to this lovely ode. Your words are lovely and so is the love you have for June. I love that second last paragraph – that June would seep into all our pores as you describe her. Thanks.

  7. I love this description of summer’s arrival in Minnesota. It is where I grew up but now I live in Tennessee. When asked my favorite season — in Minnesota it is summer and in TN it is spring. Thank you for writing in words what is in my heart about my favorite, beloved season in MN…still.