You know the way a song brings an entire summer to mind?

As though all the years between are nothing and suddenly you’re there, leaning forward to crank the volume on the car radio. The fullness of the moment returned, not piece by piece, not puzzled together out of scraps, but in its entirety. The wind through the open window. The smell of the sea. Through the gap where the road runs down to the harbor, the boats swing into the sea-breeze making with the tide. The same gust flares the sundress of the girl in front of Alleyn’s Jeweler as she turns and you twist in the seat and look back and the wind and the song and the girl in the sundress all caught in summer amber and held for eternity.

You know the way the past pads up in quiet moments and stands beside you?

Walking up the dry hills with the rattle of the wind in the grass tops. A drove of donkeys huddle in the shade of a lone tree. From the crest of the hill under an immensity of sky, the city towers as blue and remote as the serrated mountain range and it isn’t your road or even your country but suddenly it’s the road you’ve been on all along. On your way to this town and the spread of red roofs and the red geraniums on the balconies above the narrow, cobbled streets.

You know how it is, when, in the heat of the afternoon, echoes still, streets quiet, even dust stirs reluctantly, as though among the flux and drift a point is fixed, and all the universe revolves around this now?

And in the summer, on the wind’s breath, riding the melody of a song, in a flash of color, in the quality of light, in these and other unsuspecting moments, all we thought was gone returns.

Writer, walker, poet, educator. Commercial fisherman, builder, donut maker, organic grower. Boston, U. City, Maine, South Africa, Madrid.

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