AS SUMMER BEGINS TO DRAW DOWN. . .
...I am savoring the last mornings of waking up slow, of languid longer summer days, the mountain air turning wonderfully chilly while we all linger over wine with old (and new) friends. And the sensory delights..! The swirl of silk dresses against sun-kissed skin, plucking ripe raspberries to eat right off the forest bushes, humming along with summer playlists as we head outside to enjoy the unusually lush, green grass (thank you, recent rainstorms).
If I had to define myself by season, I'll admit I'm probably most aligned with autumn -- the colors, the sweaters, the hearty comfort food, the general mild melancholy as nature slowly draws back into itself. But this summer has been a lovely one, marking a (sort of) return to many parts of life that have been elusive since the world began facing Covid, and noting the simple pleasures around me is one of the ways I'm glad to give thanks. Yes, dear summer, I miss you already. As if you were leaving today.
It's making me think of a song I wrote a long time ago. It was the end of the summer after college graduation -- a blast of a summer, I might add, with me working in the wonderful Tommy Nevins Irish Pub most nights and living in the cheapest sublet Evanston has ever offered. But everything seemed to be ending: school, lack of responsibilities, the endless wait for 'real life' to start...youth. And the friendships that were lifelines until then were changing too, primed to stretch across the country and carry on in new, less-immediate versions. We all sensed that we all would never quite again be like we were then.
We felt it slipping away, the magic of this rarified time, dissipating into the muggy Chicago evenings. Our cherished zeitgeist was suddenly leaving us, taking with it a sense of precious, precious ease, the boundless energy, the certainty of adventures to come (in existence if not details), the undaunted belief in possibility. But brevity seems to draw a clearer outline on things we appreciate, and in those days of rich connection and wonder, of dreaming and arms wide open to whatever life might bring, we understood enough to value the moment and each other. And this song was a way that I tried to capture that gratitude, I guess.
So I'll share these lines from "Whitman's Beach" (from Something Real, my first album) as they felt resonant today, with summer starting to shift and the sense that the cycle of life has begun grinding back into motion again.
Here as we stand on the edge of the darkness, waiting for day of all days to close down
Come take my hand and we'll walk through the sand to the sea
Maybe the path will be clear in the moonlight for climbing of private steps to the shore
Maybe we'll talk a bit, lie on our backs in the quiet, looking up at the stars
Help me remember if this fades away...if ever you find yourself some other place
in this world than with me, remember this day, and we'll be. . . still
Chasing the shadows and tracing the signs...scattering thoughts and our dreams on the wind
And maybe some far-off tomorrow, we'll reach out our hands and we'll catch them again
[Have a listen to "Whitman's Beach" here if you like.]
I hope wherever you are, whatever you're doing at the moment, that sparks of beauty and inspiration are finding you and leading you through your current chapter toward your next adventure. And I hope that somewhere along the way, I'll be seeing (or serenading) you soon!