If ever I would leave you, it wouldn't be in summer
Seeing you in summer, I never would go
Your hair streaked with sunlight, your lips red as flame
Your face with a luster that puts gold to shame
“Spock,” McCoy said with a toothy grin. “I never thought you'd take to country living as well as you have.”
Spock studied his smiling mate and gave him a gentle grin in return. How relaxed McCoy looked. What a good idea it was to come to Iowa to spend time with Jim Kirk’s mother’s people. The aunt had been so welcoming, and the uncle had introduced them around to all of his old cronies down at the full-service gas station and the coffee shop on main street. Kirk’s cousin who ran the farm now let them play at being farmers, but Spock and McCoy knew that they were real help around the family homestead. Work always needs to done on the farm. And they were close to Jim.
But the best had been the simple farm life of working with their hands. Spock had never worked with animals or crops before, and he grew to appreciate how they flourished with his care. Combining the wheat in June had been dusty, hot work, but that only made the diving into the cool waters of the secluded pool at the bottom of the meadow at the end of the day so much more satisfying.
How Leonard had flourished! Ever day his face eased more from the age lines which Spock had seen etched there. Farm work was as nurturing to McCoy as medicine had been.
But if I'd ever leave you, it couldn't be in autumn
How I'd leave in autumn, I never will know
I've seen how you sparkle when fall nips the air
I know you in autumn and I must be there
And then came the autumn with the fall crops reaching their maturity and being harvested, not only in the fields, but in the orchards and gardens. Crickets and locusts and other singing insects chorused day and night with a frantic urgency. But a hard frost struck in September and silenced their lamenting the season. It also compensated the loss by giving a glorious Indian Summer. Apples crunched while their juices ran down chins, and life was good. Barn dances sprang up in the crisper air, and people appeared with light jackets and cardigan sweaters to take their daily constitutionals along country lanes lined with trees fast losing their colorful leaves.
Migrating birds flew South, and McCoy watched them with melancholy. The birds would return in the Spring. That was their perennial promise. McCoy wondered if all who were watching their migration would still be around to welcome them back when the weather turned balmy again.
And could I leave you running merrily through the snow
Or on a wintry evening when you catch the fire's glow
The snow ball fights, the sled riding, the snowman constructing. All things Spock and McCoy did, both, actually, for the first time. Georgia had had sporadic snowfall when McCoy was growing up, but not like this. Not like they experienced in Iowa.
And Aunt Tilda’s turkey on Christmas was served on a table with family and friends and neighbors who overflowed the dining room into the kitchen and also into the family room. A few hardy souls perched on whatever chairs they could find in the living room, but they circulated frequently. In fact, everyone circulated, and Spock and McCoy enjoyed the camaraderie almost as much as the food.
Then there were the three days in February when a howling blizzard took out the electricity and the roads and almost the heat. But the roaring fire in the fireplace kept them warm by day and the feather ticking was cozy by night. And Spock and McCoy were contended.
If ever I would leave you, how could it be in springtime
Knowing how in spring I'm bewitched by you so
The migratory birds arrived that spring, and McCoy and Spock watched them with joy for the return of gentler weather, also. Spock loved to see the sparkle in McCoy’s eyes as McCoy searched for new life under the mold of last year’s leaves. Each discovery was met by childish glee from McCoy, and Spock knew that the past year had been well spent in the farmland of Iowa.
Oh, no, not in springtime, summer, winter, or fall
No never could I leave you at all
But, of course, it couldn’t last. Too soon the magic year was over, and Spock stood by himself in the little rural cemetery in Iowa as a strong sun beat down on him. Below him lay the older grave belonging to Jim Kirk, and beside him now was the pile of raw dirt that lay over Leonard McCoy. That gallant heart had finally given out. Spock's friend and Spock's lover. Together, forever. And someday he would join them.
Spock had so many years stretching before him until he could join McCoy and Kirk in this little cemetery. But they would not be lonely years. Jim Kirk’s people had welcomed him into the family as a Vulcan uncle who had once flown from planet to planet in a fabulous starship. Spock’s life seemed almost mythical to these simple farm people, but they were exactly what Spock needed. He could write and even lecture at a nearby university, but most of his days would be spent on the Kirk farm. It would be all so down to earth and stabilizing.
But just for a moment Spock’s attention was drawn upward by the calling of a passing bird in the air. Jim Kirk could have named that bird, or even Leonard McCoy.
By this time next year, Spock would know the name of that bird, plus the names of all of the other birds in the sky over Iowa.
And then he would start learning the names of the four-legged animals.