"To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it the way it really was. It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up in a moment of danger" Walter Benjamin On The Concept Of History
Turtleback Mountain is accented by a pre monsoon season clouded sky this 31st of May, as I enjoy my morning coffee shielded by what has now become an annual chaotic floral profusion of a front garden. Sunflowers, all bird sown, reach up up up challenging Hollyhocks and Shasta daisies to extend upwards too, though, spoiler alert, they are never going to beat the sunflowers who have home ground advantage.
Home ground advantage: what is that really? For the first almost 4 decades of my life 31st May was known as Republic Day. In 1994 public holidays in the old country were reorganized. 31 May fell away as a public holiday.
In the US Citizenship test preparation handbook, there is a section on national holidays. I've been thinking of this handbook, history, war, holidays and seasonal things: the things we carry and the things we leave behind.
This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend: a three day holiday weekend ostensibly honouring those who lost their lives in the wars the US of Hay seems to be perpetually fighting. According to that forementioned handbook it's an important holiday, though not as important as 4th July which would be equivalent to the now gone 31st May of my now gone youth.
Memorial Day has become a bookend marking the secular advent of summer in the country where I now tend a garden. In the Chihuahuan desert it's a season when fierce barbed ocotillo fly their flower flags brilliant red in the infinite blue punctuated by occasional white of cloud.
I raise a cup of fine Colombian coffee to the sunflowers, mountain and clouds, and drink to a summery dawn. Bring on the day!
No I'm not catfishing you, but this impressive matriarch could be.