Whoever coined the phrase “lazy summer days” must not have lived in a place where bona fide warm weather lasts a mere three months. Far from remaining idle, most Mainers I know view this fleeting window as a call to action — like summer is a massive melting ice cream cone and we must race to enjoy every last bit. My attempts at sunshine-induced carpe diem have led me to persuade my exhausted children, who have been at school and camp all day, to accompany me on weeknight bike rides and walks, and to pack virtually every weekend from mid-June to Labor Day with overnights and activities.
Our latest excursion was a camping trip to Recompence Shore Campground in Freeport with four other families. We pitched our tents together along the edge of a giant field, where sea breezes mingled with the earthy scents of an adjacent vegetable garden, and there were moments of genuine repose — when the dads engaged all nine kids in a parachute game, when the moms sipped piña coladas while the guys cooked dinner, and when everyone was happily munching s’mores in the twilight. (A variation on the classic campfire snack I highly recommend: cinnamon graham crackers + toasted marshmallow + Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. We have dubbed this “The Steph,” after the friend who introduced it last weekend.)
But the next day, as we packed up for what seemed like the hundredth time this summer, I found myself picturing the field before us in shades of orange and gold, a dusting of frost shimmering on its surface — and I was only a little bit sad.
Has your summer been leisurely or crazy? I’d love to hear about your adventures and any advice you have on carving out downtime.