Long Summer Days and Dark Autumn Nights

Stars and Fireflies

No matter how far I go I’ll always remember
Long summer days and dark autumn nights
Cold winter snow and wood burning stoves
Clear starry nights and the Northern Lights

Memories flow through child eyes of days long ago
Those lazy days and clear blue skies
The sound of crickets through the window screen
As stars and fireflies light the cool dark nights

Wild strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
Stained fingers and lips, the tell tale signs of joy
Leaving just enough for winter preserves
While waiting for the apples to ripen and fall

Lying on soft grass staring into starry skies
Northern Lights shifting in midnight breezes
With the Northern Star shining bright
As the Milky Way arches through the night

Buzzing mosquitoes search through the dark
As black flies crawl beneath bed clothes and bite
Late night voices heard from a crystal radio set
“The Shadow” and eerie sounds from outer space

Smell of fresh cut hay drying in the fields
Sitting atop a creaking split rail fence
Waiting for the chance to steer the tractor just once
Getting bored when the opportunity never came

Summer holidays came and went too fast
School busses ran with the September rain
Morning mists shroud the low lying fields
As burning leaves choke the cooling air

Rare autumn warmth and cinnamon float by
Apple, blueberry, rhubarb and pumpkin pie
Ready for giving thanks and the town dance
Wood split and piled, cord next to double cord

Late October looms, trick or treating in the rain
Pillowcases filled with spoils, we run for home
Emptied on the hearth rug, to all an equal share
Rolling thunder echo as autumn storms set in

A leak in the roof–split-splat–into an old sauce pan
Rain pours down; more drops hit the hot cook stove
Sizzling and bubbling, scurrying to the edge, hissing
Protesting the heat and journey through shingled roof

Rain turns to snow and warmth to bitter cold
Trees stand bare having shed their coat of leaves
Shivering in mid-winter winds, covered in snow
A white halo twinkling in mid-morning light

Flakes fall morning, noon and night, collecting
Soft, fluffy snow perfect for snowball fights
Forts made, sides chosen, battles lost and won
Snow continues to fall as days blend and blur

Fresh pine needles carpet bare wooden floors
Their sweet scent foretelling joys of Christmas day
Waking in the early morning to heavy snow falling
With the smell of roast turkey and pumpkin pie

As carols play on the radio, to the tree we all did run
Handmade socks and woollen hats for one and all
Colouring books and Matchbox trucks just for me
Singing songs and feasting all the day long

Sitting by the fire, making toast from wood coals
Strong winds blow as the snow piles up outside
December fades and the pine needles cleared
Warm fires roar as dark nights became colder

In February the days become longer and nights shorter
Sunny days of March warm the thawing ground and trees
Sweet tasting sap starts to rise, tapped and gathered
Boiled down to make sweet golden maple syrup

Exposed rocks, heated by the morning sun
Snakes roused from winter bathe in the warmth
Lilies break the surface and begin to bloom
Leaves sprout as summer rolls round again

No matter how far I go I’ll always remember
The taste of maple sap on frosty spring mornings
The smell of wood smoke lingering in the air
And long summer days and dark autumn nights

Copyright © 2014 Shawn D. Standfast. All rights reserved.

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