The Praise of Summer

summer 2014 728This year,
I don’t want summer to end –
don’t want to give in to fall
and the turning of leaves,
but to linger here,
in these long days of heat,
this time,
between seasons
of purpose and doing.

summer 2014 732

Some years,
preferred shadowed days
to summers fullness –
too much life and possibility,
too much light –
which is to say I have known some summers
that have not been easy.

summer 2014 711

But this summer is different –
and I can’t get enough of
summer heat,
bowls of blue
berries and ripe
fruits on the vine,
the lap of waves
on sandy beaches,
the play of children’s feet –
such splashing!
Such of everything
that will not,
cannot,
be contained.

summer 2014 749

Here,
before the return to more serious matters –
the beginning of school,
sharp pencils and crisp clean notebooks –
I remember,
once more,
the gifts of summer,
in the holding of time  –
a young boy,
a younger man,
a dock,
a river,
half way into a leap,
to shout
my praise.

camera pictures 2014 554

The Dock
For Thomas

Around the cove from where
the single lane concrete bridge
used to span,
just up from the railway trestle
before the dam,
at this old wooden dock,
I taught you to swim.

Held my arms out to you
as I stepped slowly,
ever so slowly,
away from the shore,
testing the tension
between courage and fear.

summer 2014 751

You pushed off,
exuberant splashing,
as I called confidence
to you across the water.

Wide eyed, panting,
you clung to my chest,
exhilarated and worn,
until daring release
to try it once more.

summer 2014 754

Once, when you were older,
we swam across
to the dark pined shore
spotted with birch
where Indians used to dwell
and arrowheads can still be found.

Stood near the shore
on large smooth stones
like long legged herons.
Looked down on fallen trees,
the remnants of a wall
that had once been a mill.

summer 2014 717

We swam back,
strong firm strokes
against the current,
until sitting,
as we do now,
wound in damp towels
on warm knotted wood,
knees wrapped in our arms.

summer 2014 721

We rise,
daring each other
to jump, one more time,
to fling ourselves out into
blue sky –
where for a moment –
everything stops,
everything stills.

Peter Ilgenfritz

summer 2014 720

3 thoughts on “The Praise of Summer

  1. Hi, I thought you family members, etc. would like to see what our pastor, Peter, has for us. Cheers! Dad/Pops/Joel PS Pastor Peter you dated this, “The Praise of Summer”, March 5, 2014. What do you know that we don’t?

    Begin forwarded message: > Subject: [New post] The Praise of Summer > Date: September 2, 2014 at 12:04:44 PM PDT > Reply-To: “The Comma” > >

    Like

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