June 10 – 16, 2022Vol. 24, No. 1

2022: Summer’s Rich Inventory

by Esther J. Perne

Waking to the songs of birds…falling asleep to the call of the loons…walking into the hug of a camp or the hum of a business recently unshuttered…lingering along a trail of fragrant pine needles…gazing at green hills in the morning sunlight — or across a lake rippling in a gentle breeze…eating outdoors at home, at camp or at a sidewalk table…or joining the parade at the local ice cream stand.

Summer is here: it’s time to take inventory.

Top of the list is the great outdoors, the perseverance of nature, the rustic environment and the recreational diversity — all accessible, rewarding, free for the enjoyment. The scenery that surrounds every setting with natural beauty, the emergence of young wildlife that signifies hope, the entertaining antics of children feeling the freedom of the vacation mode and the many, many choices of sports and activities for participation or spectatorship are all gifts of the great outdoors.

Throughout this rural area there are roads to drive slowly, trails to follow peacefully, gatherings to join sociably, solitude to bask in alone. In towns and villages and even the cities of the area the presence of nature and the diversity of recreation mingle with building and road, bridge and byway…a nest here, a flower or vegetable box there, a park, a trail, a glint of nearby waterway.

Strolling a community sidewalk or stopping to absorb the picturesque flavor is both peaceful and practical for taking in summer’s inventory. While stopping: eat. Taste all that wonderful farm-to-fare or locally concocted or summer simple food. While eating: watch. Watch families, watch children, watch people and pets and other menu-gazers, but most of all watch a world of recreation wheel by. There’s intown wheeling: bikes and skate boards and all manner of cars with all ages of children heading to ball teams. And, there are heading out of town clues, too: canoes on top of cars, bicycles on the back, golf clubs and fishing gear and maybe a saddle or tennis racquet propped against a back seat.

Enjoying the great outdoors isn’t limited to state-of-the-art gear and rigorous activities. Sometimes all it takes is a bathing suit, walking shoes, a flat stone to skip across quiet waters.

There’s a side to summer that suggests and approves of laziness, lounging, sunning, dozing, doing nothing but maybe quiet conversation, the old-fashioned way, or an absorbing book or eyes on the next generation or the one after that following in the footsteps of learning about and loving what the summer offers.

Will there be weather days — winds, high temperatures, low temperatures or precipitation too pronounced for even those “love a rainy day” golfers and anglers? Of course. This is Maine.

That means it’s time to tap into indoor recreation, wholesome, fun, family- oriented: visits to history sites, rec centers, museums, stores and shops and more just waiting to be searched out.

When the summer fun search is on, there are ways to learn what’s up. Check storefront posters, bulletin boards and marquees, ask just about anyone especially business owners and workers as understaffed and overworked as they may seem and eavesdrop. Sure, it’s OK to overhear tales about trails and fishing and family picnic spots and other outing secrets and put them on the summer inventory list.

List? What list? The one that overflowed long ago?

Oh well, who needs a list of what’s in the region’s inventory or even on the day’s agenda? Just walk out the door and feel rich….after waking up to the songs of birds.

©2022 by Summertime in the Belgrades. All rights reserved.