We've entered the Quiet Time where people sneak off and enjoy the summer sun, the heat, the growing plants, and each other. Those of us who are still at it are slogging away in a sort of peaceful doldrum, where the boat floats along but there isn't anybody manning the oars. I suppose this it the time to catch up on all those long term projects that you put off until you had the time to do them, and certainly some are able to make that work for them. Others of us just want to run away and have the fun we imagine summer us supposed to hold for us.
I think it goes back to our childhoods where summers were Off From School and the responsibilities of life were still far in our futures. I remember climbing the hill that looks over the town of Twisp. It took quite a while and I enjoyed the climb. The next day everyone I met asked if I was the kid that climbed the hill, and I had the pleasure of saying that I was. Maybe I was 12 years old. Or 14.
I remember going down to Lake Michigan when we lived in Sheboygan and playing on the beach, and fishing in the stream near our house, and riding my bicycle, and playing baseball all summer.
And camping up on Early Winters Creek above Mazama and fishing for Cutthroat Trout on small streams where fishing is more like hunting and you have sneak up on all these very small fishing holes and cast your lure where the fish can't see you. Looking down from this really big rock into a large pool below, and the water is so clear and the rocks across the bottom are so light that you can see the fish lined up just below the rapid part, and casting the Indiana spinning rig with the trailing salmon egg just so one of the trout will see it and rush out to grab the hook. That summer I know I was just 12. We were moving to Milwaukee OR that summer, and this was the trip we took to re-connect with the mountains before we left for the city. - They were building the highway over Rainy and Washington Pass that summer and there was lots of construction on the road near the campground, but still, it seemed remote and alone. We were just about the only people in the campground. My dad and I filled the cooler with fish, and we shared them with all our family in the valley below. There was no waste, I can tell you.
Having spent 12 years of grade school followed by 11 years of University education, it is hard not to think of summer as Off. Imprinting, that's what it is. I was imprinted by the System. It is in my DNA.