According to Henry James, anyway:
‘Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.’
And on a day like today you can see where he’s coming from. My Facebook feed is full of people (mostly commuters) complaining about the heat. I have been quietly drinking it in, luxuriating in it. The air is lazy and golden, you can practically see the raspberries ripening before your eyes (I harvested one bowl this morning and another was ready by the evening), and my son came through the door from school shedding his clothes on the way through the house to leap naked into the paddling pool in the back garden with an expression of utter bliss.
Now it’s late, but I’m sitting outside under a violet-grey sky after my (very slow, very short) run. It’s too beautiful out here to go back indoors just yet.
The earth is pitching below me, tipping us back towards winter. So let midsummer be as fierce as it likes: revel in it, don’t wish it away. To quote another great literary figure, R. S. Thomas:
‘It will not always be like this…
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold.’