Once again my friends, after a long break, we find ourselves on the cusp of change. The year is rushing by urgenly now. Nominally summer still, the mornings are dimmer, the evenings darker, and the ponderous humid heat of July is surrendering to longer cooler nights. The blaring light of midsummer afternoons has faded to tones of unctuous gold, and even the leaves of the trees, once a deep, abyssal green, have begun to lose their vigor, even if just barely so. This is August in Michigan, and the extreme swing of the seasons in Ann Arbor continues on as we breathlessly await the return of the students, when the languid sultry summer will turn again to the youthfully effervescent autumn days that are typical of a Midwestern college campus.
Summer in my world unofficially begins with the opening of the cottage, when the leaves are just breaking through their buds. We get only a limited number of summers in this life, and I have a number of other memories that stick with me from this particular summer.
For one, squirrels invaded the cottage. Their dance on the ceiling and in the walls sounded like a gang of tapdancing groundhogs. Instead we found rather small squirrels in our traps.
The first CSA pickup of summer was absolutely beautiful. Then the rains came and flooded the fields for the next month, dramatically altering the harvest schedule for the rest of the year.
The super-local harvest (ie my backyard) didn’t let me down, however. There is nothing quite like popping a black raspberry into your mouth seconds after picking it. This happens every summer, and every time it is unequivocally magical.
June 26th in Braun Court. That was the day the United States Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage. I was there and won’t forget the hope and euphoria.
We went to see Toad the Wet Sprocket in concert, and we met the band!
A few weeks later, D and I sailed from the afternoon into the dusk, a bombastic pink spinnaker harnessing the wind on the Great South Bay, the kite carrying us home as the sun set behind the clouds off of our stern.
Even better than that perfect afternoon was the dinner at which I finally got to meet J over local Long Island oysters. This was long overdue and is now a treasured memory.
Three years ago an almost brutal, quickening, August sail on the Great South Bay was a first act of recovery, when a chlly southeaster helped me to escape and find myself in a crucible of spray and wave. The August sail has become an annual ritual since. We renewed the tradition yet again, this time sailing out and surfing back with the waves on a steady, warm, southwesterly. It was at once meditative and euphoric.
And with that, the September chill is in the air and I am restless for the road. My seasons of travel beckon furiously and I am ready to heed their call. My leg has healed from the mishap in Berlin, a muscle tear in the left calf, and September will find me again roving far afield, this time to a destination that is almost as far away as I can get from home while remaining on this planet. Preparations are well under way, and plans are mostly set. I just have to finish my scuba certification.
November will be a time of food, and cars, and art. As I mentioned in a prior post, D and I will be visiting Bologna and Florence. I am looking forward to this as time away from Italy wears at me. Plus, there is just something extraordinary about introducing old friends to each other.
Beyond that things remain a bit hazy, but right now signs point to an airport I loathe. This time however, it will likely be a destination rather than a place of transit, and that may make all the difference. After that? One can only speculate, but I’m confident it will be great.
Butterblogger is returning, dear readers, with brand new adventures to brighten your evenings, and possibly treat your insomnia. Who can really know everything the future will hold? In either case, I hope you will join me for an occasional evening of travel, mayhem, hijinx, and food, all coming up in the very near future.