Monday, June 11, 2007

Revisiting Dandelion Wine

"Yes, summer was rituals, each with its natural time and place. The ritual of lemonade or ice-tea making, the ritual of wine, shoes, or no shoes, and at last, swiftly following the others, with quiet dignity, the ritual of the front-porch swing."

Walking Wags can be a real drag when I have a lot going on: he moves so slow and it feels like my brain is moving way too fast when all I can think about is how I should getting down to business at my Mac instead of trailing dusty circles with a tired old dog who will cry piteously and without pity until I take him for his third stroll of the day. I try to use the time wisely and think about things that need thinking about -- like CPAC stuff or condo marketing strategies or the subject of my next competitive sand sculpture -- but too often I find my thoughts being led astray by my surroundings. Right now my neighborhood (specifically the rental unit upstairs) is buzzing with the sounds and sights of summer and summer people. I don’t have a porch swing but beach towels drape the new white rocking chair. School is out, kids are everywhere and I can remember so clearly what it felt like to wake up to no schedule or obligation -- a seemingly-endless series of days stretched out before me like a row of gaily-wrapped presents waiting to be opened...

Way back when, my favorite author was Ray Bradbury who has been in the news lately due to the recent release of his newest book, “Farewell Summer.” It sounds like a good read and the review I read compared it to “Dandelion Wine” which got me thinking about how it had been an awful long time since I read that book, long enough for me to forget much about it except for the effect it had on me when I first read it.

So I did an one-click impulse buy and picked up copies of both Bradbury books new and old and now that they have arrived, when do I find time to read them? The rocking chair calls but so far I have resisted.

Wags doesn’t seem to mind or even notice if I trail behind him with my nose in a book. And while we trace the same tired circles that he finds endlessly fascinating, I am returned to a world where a new set of sneakers can change you into an antelope or a gazelle and now I try to imagine what a happiness machine would look like -- sounds like a good such subject for a competitive sand sculpture, actually.

And I make a promise to myself: when the first back-to-school ad airs I will spend some quality time in that rocking chair with “Farewell to Summer.”


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