Quote of the Day: “Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” —Yoko Ono
Fall brings excitement. A fresh school year, a new football season, a more orderly routine. Winter means huddling together with family, honoring ritual and reflecting on the year and the years past. Spring is for renewal and possibilities and simple pleasures. But of all the seasons, summer is best. It is the time for distant travel, new experiences, long sunsets, cold watermelon, cool waters and hot days. It is the time for exuberance. And with the potential of each new summer comes the pressure to ensure the season lives up to its potential.
TB feels it every year about this time. The possibilities are endless. White-water rafting in Tennessee, a canoe float in south Mississippi, and a ride out to Horn Island or Petit Bois in the Gulf of Mexico are always on the agenda. The perfect summer would include a well timed visit to the Rocky Mountains to see the wildflowers in full bloom, the waters falling briskly but no longer rampaging and the stars close enough to touch on a crisp night. No summer is complete without a week at the beach, with an afternoon or two set aside for thunderstorms. And since perfection in summer I am seeking there must be time made for a coastal retreat through California or and Oregon, with the top down.
Closer to home I envision lazy evenings, mosquito free, with a burger on the grill and beer in the cooler. A few early rising Saturdays for long bike rides sound reasonable. It would be nice to set aside one day for baseball–playing I mean, not watching. I love a late night family drive with a companionable conversational silence while the radio is on a roll. Somewhere it would be fun to see a movie alfresco, and at least once in a perfect summer there will be ice cream for dinner.
There is simply no way to do it all. Not all in one season, anyway, and I haven’t even begun to discuss the as yet unexperienced European summers, or north country lake houses, or Alaskan cruises. Yet the perfect summer is attainable, if only in future memory. I’m old enough now that the mind recognizes greatness from the cumulative summers now gone and sees perfection within grasp so long as the best of the old is continually refreshed, be it through reenacting or retelling, and the desire for the new relentlessly pursued. The pressure is constant that summer not be wasted; but it is not a negative emotion, rather the opposite, providing the impetus to go outside, to keep moving and to make certain that in my dotage I can manage a weathered and knowing grin recalling the perfect summers of younger days and telling the tales again and again.