summer nights

"The Mystery of a Summer Night" by Edvard Munch
“The Mystery of a Summer Night” by Edvard Munch

Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
~ Linda Hogan
(Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World)

A friend posted part of the above quote on Facebook this morning and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I put the book it comes from on my “to-read” list. Perhaps I will have more time for reading this winter.

My ancestors have been calling to me strongly since May and most of my time since then has been spent doing online research, and planning a research trip in the fall. It’s actually one of Tim’s ancestors who is calling the loudest and most persistently – I have discovered a clue that might lead me to her parents, who I have been looking for, off and on, for thirty-seven years!

It’s a struggle for me to balance research, blogging, gardening, housework, preparing healthy meals, de-cluttering, visiting my dad, enjoying the summer… Summer days are so long and mostly hot and humid, although we have had a few wonderful days here and there to enjoy onshore breezes and open windows. I quickly grow weary of the drone from the necessary air-conditioning…

But summer evenings are the best! Going to plays (Shakespeare-in-the-Park) and concerts (Dave Matthews Band) outside, seeing sunsets and starlight and the moonrise – the stuff memories are made of…

This past Sunday evening we went to Summer Music Sundays at Mystic Seaport for the first time. We dined and had drinks under a huge maple tree outside of Schaefer’s Spouter Tavern (named for the tavern in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick), with a view of tall ships moored to the dock on the Mystic River, and smaller boats sailing by while the sun set across the river. We thoroughly enjoyed the music, guitar-playing singer Bruce Foulke, who treated us to some covers of old favorites by James Taylor, Carole King, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton… It was a lovely, perfect evening!

What do you love best about summer?

12 thoughts on “summer nights”

    1. Must be a good book to be attracting so many of us!

      “Summer night – even the stars are whispering to each other.”
      ~ Kobayashi Issa

  1. Hi Barbara. there are so many mysterious things in the painting! The drone of the fans and air conditioner are also on my least-favorite list. Some days the house sounds like a helicopter! Jane

    1. LOL! A helicopter! 🙂 Love it!

      In the painting, my eye keeps going to that smiling rock – at least I think it’s a rock – mysterious indeed! Or maybe it’s a sand sculpture with very long arms…

  2. “It’s a struggle for me to balance research, blogging, gardening, housework, preparing healthy meals, de-cluttering, visiting my dad, enjoying the summer…” You know, you are very lucky, those all sound like wonderful things to be devoting time to. 🙂 I also feel blessed in my life that my biggest struggles seem tiny to the ones I have faced in the past. I find that people get in rhythms that affect each other. For example, all my friends had break-ups around the same time, and now everyone’s getting married etc. This summer seems to have a theme of just sitting back and enjoying when things are going smoothly. 🙂 I know I am!

    1. You’re so right, Larisa – it’s time for me to get the “no whining” sign out again. 🙂 Imagine that, complaining about having to juggle so many pleasant and rewarding activities! Well, except the housework… But I think the real problem is that I’m a mono-tasker and resent and resist having to stop one activity to get absorbed into another one.

      What’s this? Everyone is getting married? Are you getting into that rhythm, too? You have worked so very hard to realize your dream and it’s so good to know that you can now sit back and enjoy some smooth sailing for a while! *hugs*

      1. I’m not married yet. 🙂 I’m happy to wait. Dima helped me become a more patient person and I’m enjoying my time with him so much right now, I’m not in a hurry to move forward. It will happen, when the time is right. It reminds me of a sign I hung up once. My friend Vanessa and I played a prank on our office. We took down the clock and hung up a sign that said “right now is exactly the time it’s supposed to be”. The clock came back, but the sign stayed to.

        1. It takes a lot of patience to teach someone to be more patient! 🙂 Could use a refresher course myself… I love the sentiments of the reminder you and Vanessa put up!

  3. Is that a stone with a smiling face in the Munch painting? It looks very contented. 🙂

    I’ve bookmarked the book… might get that some time.

    I’ve often wished we had air conditioning or a fan or something in the UK for our brief summer heatwaves, but I can’t tolerate the noise of them. Bruce saw something today about ‘Wind Bells’ on a Japanese bus. They are used in temples too. They seem to be bells, like wind chimes, but attached to part of it is a hanging strip of what is – probably – thin metal that waves and flaps in the wind and apparently is very good at cooling people. Yet I’d prefer the heat as they have a very high tinny sound that I know would drive me crazy!

    1. I also think it is a stone or, as I speculated in one of my comments above, a sand sculpture with very long arms… 🙂 Summer must have been one of the few things that made Munch happy – he was often depressed and disillusioned, poor man. Several years ago we made a special trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to see a visiting exhibition of his work. He suffered so many losses from a very young age…

      The wind bells you describe sound very interesting. If there is a breeze the heat is so much more bearable! I sit here listening to the air conditioning as I write this, cultivating gratefulness, looking forward to after dark, when I can turn the “helicopter” off for few hours! We are in the middle of our sixth heat wave this summer – incredibly enough – but I know it’s much worse out west. Looking forward to the blessings of autumn, dreaming of apple-picking and pumpkin pie and open windows…

  4. I have to say how much I adore this painting by Edvard Munch–I am so glad you shared as it is superb. I saw Val’s comment about the smiling stone … yes, there it is! I especially love the way the sun is reflected in the water.

    I will also have to read that book sometime soon. Sounds like you are having a great summer. I too long for cooler days … and nights … without the hum and whir of air conditioning. Although, thank goodness we have it at last! Could really visualize your evening on the river, dining and drinking and also enjoying great music.

    1. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the Munch painting, Diane! That makes three of us who noticed the smiling stone. 🙂 Some wonderful day I’d love to see the sun reflecting in the water in the middle of the night in the land of the midnight sun…

      When we both can chew our food again I hope we will have another pleasant evening at the Seaport before summer ends. Why on earth did we schedule dental work in the summer??? Well, I suppose any time of year would have its drawbacks… Hope your editing is done and that your book will be out soon – I’m looking forward to reading it!

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