During the grey winter months when the ground is frozen and the deciduous trees are bare, motionless, and dormant, I often find myself daydreaming of plush summers. Summers when the stench of the stockyards has crept its way abnormally further than usual, and peaked its putrid head far across the railroad track barriers of our Germantown neighborhood. Summers when the heat has reached ninety or above, and the humidity weighs on you like a soaking wet sweater worn in the sauna. The same summers that blow the captivating mulberry tree’s breeze passed our nostrils, while its fruit speckle stains the walkways of our backyards. Dogs bark from behind chain length fences, as children run the streets unsupervised. The family shares the duty of carrying the groceries from the vehicle to the house, just moments after the time cards have been punched, and the responsibility pivots from the workplace to the homestead. The younger and middle age families push mowers across their yards so that they won’t appear to be out of whack, while the elderly manicure and use a meticulous hand to do so. Some would say we’re just killing time here, occupying a piece of space until we pass, yet others would beg to differ as they slow down, watch the sun climb its perch high upon the noon position, and smell the mulberry breeze before the fruit ripens, and falls to the ground. The winters here can be brutal ones, but once they pass, and the groggy spring awakens to summer like the hibernating bear does, we all can understand why it’s so nice to kill time here. The good with the bad is how we take it, so when singing the mulberry blues it’s best to just think of what’s yet to come.
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Photo courtesy of: Damian Gerlach