A Perfect Summer

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.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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12 Responses to A Perfect Summer

  1. Samsmama says:

    That was exellent. So well written that I could imagine myself doing those things and visiting those place as I read it. Especially the part about the Oregon coast, which is one of my favorite places.

  2. Thanks SM…I spent three of the best days/nights of my life on my only trip in Cannon Beach and surroundings and cannot wait to return and see the rest of the state. Maybe this will be the year.

  3. Samsmama says:

    HAYSTACK ROCK!!!! I’m dying…

  4. The Surf n Sand, beachfront with the rock to our left. Local microbrews all day and Willamette pinot all night. I need to buy a scanner just to put the disposable Kodak pics we took there online…I’m color blind but I swear to God the sunsets out there showed me what all I’ve been missing.

  5. Wendy says:

    Cool blog – can’t wait to have time to read a little bit more!

  6. Wendy, it is an amazing coincidence that everyone who thinks like you is also a scholar and a lady. Sometimes a gentleman. Thanks for the props and don’t be a stranger.

  7. Samsmama says:

    If you make it to the PNW, swing by the Depoe Bay winery and pick me up a bottle of white. Thanks.

    Color blind? That sucks. So is my ex. But love what you said about the sunsets!

  8. Harmony says:

    I have felt the call from Summer to roam free. It started last year, although I didn’t travel too far from home I made it a point to put the road to use.

    The act of going somewhere can be so invigorating. Just knowing that there is exploration ahead, makes life so lively. I love the coast, the ocean amazes me. I will never loose that feeling of wonder when peering past it’s horizon. The world seeming suddenly whole and in it full of forgotten life.

    Yes, travel is a time of memory, distant glorious memories.

  9. Jessie Lou says:

    We stayed at Sand Island last year for the 4th of July and watched the fireworks from the top of the boat. We were able to see the fireworks from Biloxi, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula without all the booming noise. It was also fun to watch those camping on the beach to see how long they last dancing around the campfire before passing out from intoxication. Listening to their conversation was amusing. One of the boaters was having trouble on Horn and a guy from Sand was going over to help him. He asked a friend on another boat if he had a certain tool which he did not. His reply was, “No, I ain’t got that, but I got a pench hit, ‘ant some?” That was the response to everything for the rest of the trip.

  10. TB, I think you’ve got a spy in my head. I was going to write a summer-themed post next.

    My children just left for a 5-day stay in Florida with their maternal grandparents. They were about to explode with anticipation. I remember those grand ole days.

  11. Harmo–I was inspired by your Monday miscellany to go this route. Thx for the poetic commentary.

    JLM–not many places better to be on July 4 than where you were/will undoubtedly be

    TDW–hope you get some late morning snoozin in

  12. Yeilin says:

    I took it out of the Valley. Was in Pioneer Square in a tight parking space. We niotced 4 homeless guys standing around, smiling and talking. They actually helped us get the truck parked without hitting a pole. We bought their breakfast! So simple goal is to follow my heart and look for opportunities to give a little every day. Nancy

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