This line from Keats' Ode to a Nightingale speaks to me today on several levels. One, it's just beautiful outside and I certainly am ready to 'singest of summer.' It's Farmer's Market day, Bread Day, Mama-Don't-Have-To-Cook-No-Dinner Day. The kids will get to play at the playground that adjoins the market, I'll sit in the sun and nibble on ciabatta, listen to music (the market has live music every week), and take in the sights and sounds. Usually when I take the kids to a playground, I'm the mom with a book or magazine. But I don't try to sneak in any reading at all at the market because it's such a great community thing and I should probably try to be friendly and chat up the other parents sitting near me. It's hard to not fall into the free reading time habit, but if I'm ever going to be social in public, this is the place. I am not good at this in general and was a terrible soccer mom--broke all kinds of soccer mom protocol by sitting on the opposite side of the field as the other parents (it's where the sun was!) and reading a book when Jack wasn't in the game (hello, boring!). I do believe in community, and the farmer's market community is much more my speed.
The second reason this Keats quote caught my eye is because OM and I just listened to an 8th grade girl audition for our 8th grade promotion ceremony and she was incredible. She played the guitar and sang a song that she wrote herself--and it was GOOD! While she was singing, she was full of honest happiness and full-throated ease. Music is so obviously her passion, and to see someone completely in their element always moves me. She was so good I was digging my thumbnail into my other hand to keep from tearing up (this is a good strategy to keep from laughing inappropriately, too, btw). This girl is a writer and a singer and a guitar player and her performance was all passion and truth, no veneer. Love it!
"I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves."