In June, the world is alive

To the court of public opinion, we submit that June is the best month of the year.

Just now, on the edge of the solstice, every leaf and every blade of grass surges and grows, reveling in the long hours of light. Bird parents watch their babies learn to fly, and young robins take their first baths in the nearest puddle. Bunnies young and old hop about at the edge of the Chehalis-Western trail. And every zucchini plant in every garden is proving that it can grow even faster than the weeds.

The world is never so completely alive as it is in this June moment.

It may still be mostly cloudy and cool, but that’s part of June’s charm: on those days when the sun does come out, it’s rare treat, like ice cream when you were a little kid – pure, innocent happiness that, if we were just slightly less dignified, would make us skip down the street. And the cloud cover prolongs the bloom of peonies that would burn out quickly in hot sun, keeps the grass green longer, and helps us make a nice, slow transition from late spring to high summer.

By this time in July, nearly all those leaves will have been chewed on by insects or slugs, the grasses will start to brown, and lettuce plants will bolt and go to seed. The days will be getting shorter rather than longer, and the birds will be sleeping later and singing less.

Truly, June is the peak month for optimism in the garden and in life, for growth of every kind, and for the joy of anticipating a glorious summer.