High Summer Still

Today a brisk wind all day until mid-afternoon. Steady at 30 kilometers per hour with gusts to 40. Very fresh air before what they say will be another heat wave. I’m glad. Bring it on.

People were starting to yap about “you can really the feel the difference already”, “the light has changed” and “fall is definitely in the air”. Frankly, I’m not in the mood to hear it. I am no more ready to end the summer prematurely than I did when I was teaching and the dreaded “Back to School Sales” adverts first appeared.

I fought it then—and fight it again—fiercely. We’ll be gray on gray and back to black soon enough. I recall spinning out the summer well into September and October. One year I managed to milk it until October’s end. My dearest friend Lloyd Dykk—now, alas, no longer with us—and I attended a concert on a hot night days before Hallowe’en, sun streaming through the windows of the church, baking us in full-summer fire. Outside, of course, the Kerrisdale trees were as orange as the setting orb. But for one more night we could—and did—believe it was summer. (Not bad for a pair of unbelievers on a hard bench.)

When I lived in Fleetwood I’d drop everything and point the car west to Crescent Beach a mere 20 minutes away. I’d prop myself up against a log, wiggle my bum into the sand and soak up the sunsets—the smell of desiccated needles, sea and salt hanging in the air.

Now, driving an hour or more and an equal amount of time back somehow isn’t viable. I miss those interludes. Abbotsford’s Mill Lake promenade—Mt. Baker’s serene white charms notwithstanding—and goose poop isn’t quite the same.

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