Pitch-perfect August night, it is. The air is refreshingly cool and clear-clean-crisp. The sound of the crickets in symphony across the neighbourhood is my musical backdrop... their constant strum and hum and sppipsppipsppip song is so very soothing.
It all stirs the days of my youth, at the beach. The sunsets, the dull roar of the waves over the sand. I can see and smell and hear the sounds that I spent every summer of my youth and young adulthood hearing. From the creak of the front door of my grandparents' cottage, to the smell of dinner and the conversation around the dining table - the sun in Grandma's eyes. The Old Nippy cheese she loved, the homemade bread and pies baked by the womenfolk of the clan. The kids all lined up along the concrete wall of the back patio after a swim in the lake, wrapped in towels and shivering. Waiting for the call to dinner. Running the path between the Big Cottage and the Little Cottage, back screen doors slamming. Always one kid, on behalf of all of us, begging to go for another swim. And late at night trying oh so very hard to fall asleep in those upstairs bedrooms, they like an oven - and then waking up in the early morning chilled from the night's cooled air. Waiting all summer for our family's week at the cottage and hoping that time would move as slow as it possibly could while we had our week at the beach. But having it whirl away too soon, always too soon.
That place, that space in time, was the glue that bonded that brood of many. So, so many memories - at times, they feel like yesterday.
My grandmother, she never could hear the crickets in their cacophony. She'd stand on the steps, laughing and shaking her head, and tell us all we were pulling her leg.
I am thankful I hear them tonight. They're casting up sweet nostalgia.
I so, so miss the water's edge and its soul-balm -- and the souls that shared those myriad summer moments of my childhood days... that place of sanctuary for my soul.
In this moment, my heart's so full of love and longing, it hurts...
*image courtesy greybrucesimcoe.com