It seems to me that June is a month of promise, enthusiasm, energy, and, in general, a feeling of anticipation of a favorable future. Oh, it’s not that other months don’t have their own positive attributes, but June has some special ones. One in particular is that June contains the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere where we live – the day with the most daylight hours. Yep, we can wake up early to daylight instead of darkness and enjoy those soft warm hours well into the evening. Kind of a nice feeling.
The Latin name for June, the sixth month of the year, is Junius. Just where that name came from is up for grabs, but the most popular idea is that June is named after the Roman goddess Juno, the goddess of marriage and the wife of the supreme deity Jupiter.
In ancient Rome, the period from mid-May through mid-June was considered favorable for marriage, but some ancient Romans figured the entire month of June was more fortunate for weddings than May. Interesting how that concept has managed to endure even today with June reportedly being the month celebrating more weddings than any other.
June, as other months, has a number of “special” days – I somehow missed National Doughnut Day on June 1. National Chocolate Macaroon Day, June 6, is of no interest – as is International Sushi Day, June 18. On the other hand, National Corn on the Cob Day, June 12, and National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, June 14, may well be cause for celebration. This year Father’s Day, June 17, again coincides with our wedding anniversary. Yep, we were married on Father’s Day – Sunday afternoon weddings were in style sixty-some years ago.
On a more somber note, some of us geriatric generation folks can still remember June 6, 1944. That was D-Day, the day allied forces invaded France in World War II. We can never forget the newsreels showing the largest armada of military force ever assembled as thousands of troops swarmed ashore. Nor can we forget seeing the thousands of our bombers and fighters in the sky over France. That memorable day was full of hope for the forces of freedom. But let’s move on.
The Rodgers and Hammerstein smash musical, “Carousal”, featured a song, “June is Bustin out all over” which contains these lines, “June is bustin’ out all over, … You can see it in the trees, You can smell it in the breeze. … Fresh and alive and gay and young, June is a love song, sweetly sung.” What a marvelous characterization of this jewel of a month.
Yep, nature’s way of celebrating the onset of summer, which officially begins in June, is manifest in the trees that have now leafed out eclipsing the bare branches we have been looking at for months on end. Both perennial and annual flowers are decorating the landscape with their brilliant colors and the sweet smell of newly-mowed grass hangs in the air.
Around our house the flower and vegetable beds have been cleaned of winter debris and already been planted. Our hanging flower containers as well as those sitting on our patio and front stoop are doing quite nicely. I successfully repotted my geraniums, now well over two feet high, from indoors to outdoors. This is the fourth year these remarkably resilient plants have made the transition from indoors to outdoors in June after having been indoors since September.
In response to readers’ inquiries about my tomato efforts, I have purchased two varieties of blight-resistant plants and I’m using a different bed this year. Following the suggestion of a professional gardener, I covered the entire bed with porous landscape fabric which I fastened securely to prevent blight spores from splashing onto the plants. In addition, I have planted two varieties of “standard” tomatoes as patio tomatoes in clean containers using all fresh soil – and located them some distance from my regular vegetable garden. I also am using an anti-blight spray on all my tomatoes. (I’ll share my vegetable garden efforts later.)
Well, there’s one more celebration of June I have yet to fulfill. It’s taking off my shoes and socks and walking barefoot through the grass. I may even do that in the front yard followed by some time sitting there by our outdoors table, sipping a cool drink, and enjoying the sights, sounds, smells and feel of June. It’s truly something to be savored. At least that’s how it seems to me.
Bill Taylor, a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.