The Beauty of Summer

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Summer is winding down and I will soon have to get back to the real world. I have been blessed for any years to be able to head for Maine every May, and linger there until the beginning of the Fall. This season has been memorably spectacular for the long succession of perfect days. Last year was also memorable, but for the torrents of rainfall that seemed to cascade down almost every day. Today the sky was cloudless and the bay sparkled, but the wind was much too strong to chance going out on the water.

Tomorrow morning, I will head over to the local Saturday Farmer's market with one of our many grandchildren. I go early so I will not miss getting my weekly dozen or two of the huge eggs from my favorite farmer. It never ceases to surprise me when I crack one, and two yolks pour out. I usually scramble a couple every morning.

The eggs go quickly and, if I dilly-dally, I am forced to buy only the regular size, but still delicious, offerings of all the uncaged hens whose gifts are offered up for sale. Then, I rush to get my pain d'amande from Barack, who bakes some of the best bread I have ever tasted. The lines in front of his stall are always the longest of all, and these delectable goodies disappear very quickly. Add a coffee from one of the several local roasters and my day becomes fully started. Next a couple of scones from Beryl for Sunday breakfast. And then, I wander, having done the essential, to sample and bring home other of the wondrous wares.

This farmer's market started about 10 years ago and has been growing every year. The variety of locally produced goods gets larger all the time. I can sample all kinds of cheeses and dairy products, and usually come home with something. Another favorite is a pepperoni that is to die for.

It's not just the wonderful merchandise that makes this place special. It has become a true community of farmers, bakers, weavers, other kinds of merchants, and people from the community, many with their dogs. There is even a booth that places abandoned dogs in new homes. The importance of local economic activities to sustainability is stressed in the readings I assigned to my students this trimester. The Saturday market in Brunswick brings the theory to life.

There is something about summer that brings out the closeness we are to one another and to the Earth. We are fortunate in New England that Fall makes the transition to Winter comfortable and smooth. It sneaks in days even in October that fool us into thinking it is still July. But by then the feeling of flourishing that comes with the beauty of summer starts to fade. It's still there, but more distant from the senses. I am told by the passing of the seasons a little of what sustainability means. It is, in part, just the expectation that next summer will be just as beautiful as the last.

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