northern summer,

axial tilt blessing,” the season from summer solstice to autumnal equinox — or a trope (after the title of a book) for the “barely warm — fleetingly pretty — heartsuckingly dim… clear water, pale sky, lure of littleness”; for whatever is feeble, ephemeral, dejectedly imperfect, so dear, for nature quietly unlacing your stiff absolutes so you can take a breath. Northern summer is “an illusion of impossible death”: of death “shuffled under the rug of winter”; it is freedom calmly aware of its unfreedom — of the inside the rock of smellless cold; and it is our whole recorded historys brief bloom in the interglacial.  ■    Low diversity, slowed decay, rarefied predation: fragile, painfully plague-prone, a temperate biome is yet a neotenous seedling capable of stranger evolutionary offshoots than the sun-dizzied jungle with its feverish matter churn. The seasonal cycle (temporal niches, “month of bloom”) presages the perishless rething: shedding leaves as explay, snow as deep sleep of nature gestating a new life.

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