Summer tide

Marianne Bickett | September 15, 2022 | Leave a Comment

I love the smell of the earth sweating at the close of a hot summer day,

how the heat opens the pores of the ground and releases the aroma of luscious composted

fallen leaves, pine needles, and the richness of the dirt as it rises into the evening

with a sigh.

I love how dusk cools the dusty burnt sky into gradations of baby blue to pale white with a lavender halo, how trees silhouette themselves into an inky black that brushes up against the infinite vault of an indigo atmosphere. I love the brown bats that, one by one, swallow the firmament into the relief of darkness. How the constellations blink themselves into view and fill the heavens with ancient stories, some forgotten, some new.

I love the wooden bench gazing into the little meadow and steep ravine, empty and waiting. How it faces the tall firs and spruce as if listening for our verdant elders, silent and fluent in their stillness, to speak. I love how they just listen back.

I love the finishing songs of the birds, calling from the branches of the trees, as nightfall tucks them into their nests. How they retreat with the light like graceful dancers disappearing from an invisible stage. I love the breathy arrival of the owl as she awakens, wide-eyed and hungry, hooting into the forest and sweeping through the spaces with whispers on her wing.

I love summer with all its energy, and the long days that are paused with afternoon naps as bookmarks find their way along adventures from far, far away somewhere inside of our being. Once upon a time…

Wildflower field
Top of the page: Summer Creek in Oregon
photos: Marianne Bickett, 2022

Author’s Note:

My poem is about this current summer, but also the essence of many summers I’ve lived through. Each season presents its own rich array of scents, colors, emotions, and character, providing us with opportunities to engage all our senses in appreciation. We can’t do this if we don’t take a moment to pause and become aware of the treasure of our changing natural world. It reminds me of the Buddhist principles of inter-being: Everything is connected, Nothing lasts, and You are not alone. I do not recall the author of these words, but the meaning is clear. I feel these concepts in a deep way when I breathe into my surroundings and realize I am nature. To ignore or avoid encountering what’s going on outside, we miss great opportunities in knowing what it is to be human in relation to all other living beings. To miss the magic and wonder of the stars and qualities of a bee feasting on sunflower, we miss truly living. I hope this day that all beings can experience moments of peace and safety because what we have now is slipping away unless more people can understand how the earth sweats. Thank you!

Author and Artist Marianne Rose Bickett is a retired teacher, who expresses her love of nature through writing, and art. With a Master’s degree in Art Education, University of Illinois, 1986, Marianne has utilized her expertise as well as enjoyed being a life-long learner. 

Fiction: the Art á la Cart trilogy: Leonardo and the Magic Art Cart; Art Rocks with Ms. Fitt, and The Present, Kala’s Song for Young Adult through Adult.

Non-fiction: Art á la Cart, Memoir of a Teacher, A Special Creek, Enrichment, and Magic.

Marianne taught everything from special education to art, from preschool through college, for nearly forty years. Teaching in mostly public schools, as well as an art museum, Marianne’s vast experiences across the country have given her a rich history from which to draw upon for inspiration in her books. 

Throughout her career, Marianne was devoted to the environment and creating opportunities for her students to draw inspiration from their inner and outer worlds. For example, greatly inspired by the works of Andy Goldsworthy, she embarked upon utilizing a creek adoption to engage her curious charges in ephemeral creations. Across the curriculum projects that involved math, science, music, literature, and art, as well a multi-sensory approach, were the mainstay of Marianne’s approach to teaching. 

Married to composer Brian Belét, Marianne cherishes her family that includes her son, Jacques, his wife Irish, and two young grandchildren. Marianne continues to share her joy of life on Instagram, newsletters, and occasional workshops and classes. Her many interests include meditation, yoga, long walks, and advocating for the environment and for animal welfare. Marianne enjoys time with her sister, Jane, on her Begin Again Ranch, caring for all creatures great and small.

Photo: Marianne Bickett photographed in Tualatin River National Wildlife Reserve, Oregon, by Earthdarling Portraits of Sherwood, Oregon.

Marianne’s website.

This article is part of the MAHB Arts Community‘s “More About the Arts and the Anthropocene”. If you are an artist interested in sharing your thoughts and artwork, as it relates to the topic, please send a message to Michele Guieu, Eco-Artist and MAHB Arts Community coordinator:
Thank you. ~

The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.