It is the middle of November, and we are forced to face the inevitable. The delightful interlude of sunny summer days and simple pleasures is coming to an end. It is time to close up the summer house for another season.
Our sweatshirts are no longer ample protection from the cold winds, and we linger a few minutes at the beach before returning to the warmth of the house.
This week my husband and his friend will winterize the place, draining the water from the pipes to prevent freezing.
The little house will be shuttered, bracing itself for icy winds and a long season of silence. Bereft of family and unable to generate heat or light, it will hibernate and patiently await our return.
With each passing year, I find it more difficult to leave the summer house behind.
Sarah Orne Jewett best describes the feelings of separation from a seaside home in “The Country of the Pointed Firs.”
“The sunshine of a northern summer was coming to its lovely end. The days were few then … and I let each of them slip away unwillingly as a miser spends his coins. At last I had to say goodbye to all my … friends, and my homelike place in the little house, and return to the world in which I feared to find myself a foreigner… When I went in again, the little house had suddenly grown lonely, and my room looked empty as it had the day I came. I and all my belongings had died out of it … so we die before our own eyes; so we see some chapters of our lives come to their natural end.”
With gratefulness I bid farewell to another season. Every weekend throughout the long winter ahead, my husband and I will be drive-by visitors, checking on the summer house.
Then we’ll park our truck at the beach, shut off the engine, and admire the Creator's handiwork.
“The immensity of nature … gives us a new perspective on life, washes away or minimizes our worries,” writes Ferenc Mate, the author of “A Real Life – Rediscovering the Roots of Our Happiness.” “How can we feel sad with all the beauty there is to see? And how can we feel poor when all this beauty belongs to us?”