A Summer Place...


It is her first love.  As long as I've known her she's loved summer...lazy no-school days, the 4th of July, late evenings outside talking with friends, the sun, happy hour at Sonic.  I married her twenty summers ago.  Her father died this past August, the months prior panicked with travel to Arkansas and back to Colorado and back to Arkansas as she watched the shadow of pancreatic cancer lengthen and finally eclipse his life.  She did not love the summer of '09...it did not give, it took.

One of our early anniversaries was celebrated at a B&B somewhere, I don't remember where.  A stack of old magazines anchored the bedside table, one was The Smithsonian.  The feature article focused on a strip of coastline in central California, a rough copulation of sea and mountain known as Big Sur.  The pictures and text revealed another place and time, almost another planet.  I was young then, poor and bold, bold enough to dream aloud: we should go there for our 20th anniversary.  Next week my summer love and I will go there.  Many things in life don't work out, but sometimes, somehow, some things do.


I am older now, here in mid-air, but still poor and bold, bold enough for a quiet petition: redeem this summer for her, return to her that first love.  The either-loved-or-hated writer Henry Miller made Big Sur his home for eighteen years.  He wrote about it as a place other than the 'air-conditioned nightmare of America'...an isolated, rugged landscape that gave him 'such a feeling of contentment, such a feeling of gratitude...that instinctively my hand went up in benediction.'  Miller said 'it was here in Big Sur I first learned to say amen!'


And so I am praying for an amen next week, not as ending but rather as a intro to a summer place for her...and me.  We will walk this coast where, I believe, the spirit of Miller and others like him still traipse and bless.  Our hands may not be raised in benediction, but I trust they will be clapsed, interwoven fingers hanging on for better for worse, til death do us part. 




     

11 comments:

  1. John, Hope that you and Mer will have a most memorable time together in CA. You both will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  2. Awwww, that made me cry! Beautiful!! You two have such a wonderful time--may it be full up with dreams for the next 20 years and the next!!

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  3. Tears here, too. Hoping & praying for joy-filled trip for you two!

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  4. He is our Redeemer ... of all things.

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  5. Beautiful post, John. Beautiful picture of love redeemed.

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  6. May you enjoy the gift of the sea.

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  7. the 90 miles of coast that Rt. 1 hugs and goes in, through and by Big Sur voted one of America's top ten road trips. I hope you and Mer can ride, walk, and love your way down it. Have a lovely time!

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  8. Congratulations on 20 years! I hope you guys have the best time as you reminisce, celebrate and create new memories. God bless you both~

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  9. I wish you enough of everything on that trip with your girlfriend, Ponyboy. Wish you enough.

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  10. 一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。.........................

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