We spent last week on Lopez Island, something that has become a summer tradition for us, thanks to our friends Henry and April. The boys and I took the first ferry of the morning a few days before everyone else arrived. As the ferry began to dock, we strained to see our first glimpse of the bucolic landscape. We watched for the farmstand on the drive to the house. The boys have reached the (milestone!) age and size such that they unloaded the groceries and bags from the car while I unpacked, Aleck Bay sparkling in the background. Then they inspected the house and surrounding woods, verifying that everything was just as they remembered it.
We would catch horny toads in the flowerbeds and run through the sprinkler in the blistering heat; we'd swim in the river that ran through my granddad’s Oklahoma farm where the soil was red. I almost always saw a tarantula on the trip, fodder for nightmares until the next summer.
Involuntarily, I slept like the dead whenever there was a pause in our activity at any time of day; I simply could not keep my eyes open. The boys’ energy was indomitable. They wrestled like puppies; dueled and built with driftwood. We dug for clams, and found five of the seven kinds native to the area. Sand infiltrated everything. We all went to bed and woke up gritty, despite our efforts to leave it out of doors. A couple of evenings, I hosed the boys down before allowing them inside.
Our last night, we sat on the beach in the gloaming for a long, long time, and in the placidity of that cove and the ending of that summer's day I felt a pure, undiluted joy. I struggle to find words to describe it; to convey the emotion it produced.
Summer is forever and ever.