Woods, fields, meadows, gardens are lush by the last days of July, especially this year, following our long, drawn-out, cool and moist spring and early summer. Cherry boughs bend low with fruit not yet shaken off the trees. Corn displays its near-tropical growth, and small grains wave richly in the breeze.
Hotel and motel rooms and B&B accommodations are also full. (Woe betide the would-be visitor looking for a room now for August!) Restaurants are full to overflowing, and grocery store lines stretch long. I’m sure many beaches are full on sunny days, but if Petoskey stone hunting in the rain is your thing, you might have the shoreline to yourself today.
Tuesday night was the last evening in the Friends of the Library Summer Author Series, and Sarah Shoemaker had the crowd eating out of her hand and lining up afterward to buy copies of Mr. Rochester, my runaway best-selling book for 2017. Selling out of a title and having to restock sounds like the opposite of fullness, but it's been terribly gratifying to me to see Sarah's sales numbers mount since Mr. R (as I call him familiarly) was released on May 9.
Calendars are full (and already filling up for September, believe it or not). Days and nights and hours are full. We squeeze in visits with family and old friends wherever and whenever and however we can. An old friend I hadn’t seen for 25 years came for a breakfast visit with his family one morning this week. At my suggestion, they came to our house so we wouldn’t have to stand in line at a restaurant and then worry that their little girl would get bored and fidgety, and we had a lovely time. Now it may be another five years before we see each other again. And wouldn’t you know I forgot to get my camera out at the house! Made up for that omission at bookstore and gallery.
Summer is a time for reconnecting. Some people are reconnecting with their summer places, vacation memories, and retracing childhood souvenirs. Families and friends reconnect with reunions and shared vacations. And in the bookstore I reconnect with customers who are coming for an annual visit or coming back for the first time in ten years. One woman today had to hunt through photographs on her phone to find one she had taken of Sarah – she thought two years ago, then tried three and four, but it turned out to have been five years ago that she’d photographed our little darling. Thus today’s memorable bookstore quote: “I’ve deleted pictures of my relatives, but I couldn’t delete this picture of your dog!” Darling little Sarah!
Above was written on Wednesday. Now on Thursday I feel compelled to note that our basswood trees are full of sweet-smelling blossoms, and once the sun burns off the morning dew the bees will again come buzzing, irresistibly drawn to the nectar. Last year the blossoming branches seemed far too quiet. This year they are once more humming, afternoon and evening, with busy pollinators weaving tight, complicated, but invisible webs and trails through the air. That's more like it!