With snow falling in the high country, Joy posted this quote on her Facebook page:
A Montana summer: “Why isn’t it warm yet?”/”Yay it’s finally warm!”. Then, the whole state catches on fire…and then it’s winter again.
I think this may be the game changer. There are frost warnings in the valleys tonight, and, at least for now, the smoke is gone. It looks like a day in Autumn when your heart hurts with melancholy for what’s been lost. I’ve been going through the photos I took in July, when the house was buzzing with the energy of grandkids for a whole month, and it seems so long ago. And, I started reading–for the third time–George Colt’s book, The Big House–A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home. If you really want to wallow in the sadness of summer’s end, this beautifully written memoir, with lines such as, “A summer house in winter is a forlorn thing. In its proper season, every door is unlocked, every window wide open…people, too, are more open in summer, moving through the house and each other’s lives as freely as the wind…”, then I highly recommend this lovely story of a family’s beloved summer home, and the tender loves and losses in their lives across generations.
It was raining when I woke up this morning, in the dark, dark house. The coffee smelled so good back in the butler’s pantry. And, when I went out for a run, the green leaves were rain-washed and low-lying clouds clung to the hillsides and the air was fresh and clean. It reminded me of Ireland, where I’m headed in just two weeks. But, there are lingering days of summer before I go. My brother–a genuine Old Salt– is visiting from Hawaii, and we’ll be taking the sailboat out on our high seas in the next day or two. Sarah and Nick are coming over Labor Day week-end, and we’re going to figure out how to get her and her leg cast into a boat somehow. But, I am thinking I’ve probably had my last swim of summer, now with the water so cold. The days are clipped short by darkness, and the chilly, damp weather has abruptly announced the end of a season. Feeling the loss in this changing weather, I’m wondering if I paid enough attention when ‘the light was like lemonade on the shores of June’?
The Last Swim of Summer, by Faith Shearin
Our pool is still blue but a few leaves
have fallen, floating on the surface
of summer. The other swimmers
went home last week, tossed
their faded bathing suits aside,
so my daughter and I are alone
in the water which has grown colder
like a man’s hand at the end of
a romance. The lifeguard is under
her umbrella but her bags are packed
for college. We are swimming against
change, remembering the endless
shores of June: the light like lemonade,
fireflies inside our cupped hands,
watermelon night. We are swimming
towards the darkness of what
is next, walking away from the sounds
of laughter and splashing, towels
wrapped around the dampness of our loss.
The summer can’t end and we were never with you 😦