What do we make of July, this 7th month, its Zodiac sign, Cancer, in this malignant moment?
July, 2020, arrived silently in northeast Ohio, no summer storm to open the month nor one since, not even this evening 10 days later, only an indistinct rolling rumble, the horizon frenetic with heat lightening and despair, and the distant, sibilant whispers of 132,363 passing on.
This image was photographed at Squire Valleevue Farm about an hour after sunrise, eight years ago tomorrow. Day dawned with the quotidian optimism and clarity that accompany cool July mornings. Fog hung low over the landscape cleaving the hills along the ridges that rise out of the Chagrin valley. In another hour the fog had evaporated, the landscape had flattened and the magic light of morning had disappeared.
In these despairing times I return frequently to this image of a July morning to remind me of the beauty that was and will be. “Look for the miracle” was the great Cleveland School artist, William Sommer’s injunction, something to remember as we cope and conquer in the days ahead.
C.G. Baker, Friday, July 10, 2020