52 Weeks – Summer (29/52)

RSiegel_Week29 - Summer

As you can tell, I’ve been trying to catch up on my posts for my 52-week photo project, so what are the odds that today’s post about summer would coincide with the first snow of the season?

I’ll turn this to my advantage.

How about we create a little space of insulation to ward off the chills by thinking back to a specific summer day?

Okay, here’s mine:

July 21, 2012. We’d taken ourselves down to Boston to celebrate my sister’s birthday.

Mid-day, we walked in town, along the beautiful new Greenway where a mess of highways used to be, walked barefoot through the fountains, scorched our feet on the hot pavement, watched children giggle and run, or stand mesmerized by the sparkling sprays of water.

Later, we took the subway to another part of the city, carried folding chairs, blankets, and a picnic-packed cooler, and walked to the band shell by the river’s edge.

Between acts

Little by little, a little later, the sun set. It cast shadows through the leaves. It made ribbons of gold on the river.


Sun water

Sunset sailors

Then, out came Burton Cummings, the reason the crowd was gathered there that evening.

As a member of The Guess Who, and then as a solo singer/songwriter, Burton had sung the songs of our Canadian childhood summers. His was the voice on the car radio as we sat on beach towels so we wouldn’t burn our legs on the hot vinyl seats, the voice crooning from the albums we saved out allowances to buy. As kids, Laurel and I knew all his songs by heart, every word, every beat, every high tenor note.

We still do.

And just as my remembering and writing this has taken me from this November day to that July day, the concert transformed that crowd of mostly gone-to-greys into teenagers again, whooping and dancing and singing in other summers. One memory leading to another, and then deeper back in time to another, like a series of nested matryokshka dolls, each similar, separate, related, connected.

Burton Cummings

There. I feel warmer already.

Okay. Now it’s your turn… tell me a summer memory.

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