An ode to the ‘tell tales’ of summer

Sep 23, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

“Only the day dawns to which
we are awake.”
–Henry David Thoreau, Conclusion, Walden, 1854

BY JACK COWAN, CATAWBA ISLAND

Sailors know of tell tales, little red streamers of yarn attached to sails and shrouds to tell “tales” of the wind. Knowing these signs helps move the sailor along the race course. The better the ability to read the tell tales, the better the sailor’s chances are of finishing in the money. Life holds many similar tell tales; works the same way as on the sailor’s race course.

Many words are used too casually. I store them off site until no other word can do the job. Delicious is one such word. I hauled it out for this tome.

This has been a delicious summer.

Cool, wet enough, clear skies “painted by the poet’s eye” just right with just the right clouds. From the sound track of Jonathan Livingston Seagull Neil Diamond sings of this: Holy Holy. Light winds drift through the pine trees that line the back of our home, creating just the right music to go with a nice red wine. This summer has been as refreshingly delicious as a lime phosphate, a pineapple soda or a root beer float. We have shared that time.

Cicadas have begun their song counting cadence for the march of summer and the sun’s return journey to the southern sky. Other signs are there for those who can see such things.

Every year, about the middle of August, the first wimpy Alberta Clipper sails south out of Canada bringing with it cool temperatures and a morning when a favorite sweater feels just right. There are other signs; our friend the Witch Hazel bush kicked me in the shins last evening, dropping a subtle hint of the coming change. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Our Honey Locust tree on the back deck showers us with tiny yellow leaves, fair warning to stock up on candles, books, and writing paper; tell tales of time passing.

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