Thursday, August 9, 2012

On Summer


"Summertime, oh summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture with the sweet fern and the juniper forever and ever, summer without end; this was the background, and the life along the shore was the design..."

Do you, too, feel like summer is just beginning? Usually, for me, August is summer tinged with a hint of fall. But this year, summer feels like it's just starting (blaming it on wedding season). Instead of secretly gearing up for fall, I'm reminding myself that September is still warm, s'mores will still taste like childhood, I'll still have time to steal away to Fire Island for the day.

While convincing myself that there's much more summer left to enjoy, I ran across this E.B. White essay that's soaked in summer memories, beautifully written.


"I took along my son, who had never had any fresh water up his nose and who had seen lily pads only from train windows. On the journey over to the lake I began to wonder what it would be like. I wondered how time would have marred this unique, this holy spot--the coves and streams, the hills that the sun set behind, the camps and the paths behind the camps. I was sure that the tarred road would have found it out and I wondered in what other ways it would be desolated. It is strange how much you can remember about places like that once you allow your mind to return into the grooves which lead back. You remember one thing, and that suddenly reminds you of another thing. I guess I remembered clearest of all the early mornings, when the lake was cool and motionless, remembered how the bedroom smelled of the lumber it was made of and of the wet woods whose scent entered through the screen. The partitions in the camp were thin and did not extend clear to the top of the rooms, and as I was always the first up I would dress softly so as not to wake the others, and sneak out into the sweet outdoors and start out in the canoe, keeping close along the shore in the long shadows of the pines. I remembered being very careful never to rub my paddle against the gunwale for fear of disturbing the stillness of the cathedral."

If you have a moment, read the whole essay here.

Top photo by Sarah Montour, second photo by William Abranowicz via Martha Stewart.

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