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Summer in Northfield

Dear Rosa,

I imagine summer hasn’t changed much since your time. Still too hot, too short, still so very beautiful.

When I was a kid, we’d seek the local swimming spot and I wonder if you would’ve smiled at its name. Don’t gasp now, when I swear mildly. Because you simply couldn’t call “Bare-Assed Beach” anything else.

I wonder, did you swim there, too? Did you yell to Henry, your husband, on one of those hot muggy days, maybe when the haying was done and you just couldn’t take another minute of the sweat, the heat and the seeds that would cling to your skin?

“Henry,” did you say, “let’s go. We’re heading to the river. I’ve had enough of this blasted heat!”?

Did you wander down Lover’s Lane, staying always to the shaded side of the road and wave at neighbors who sat on their porches, desperate, too, to catch even a glimmer of a breeze?

Did you cross Kingston’s bridge and seek the woods, heading up the Dog River to that one, blessed spot where it ran true and deep and cold? Did you smile when you stripped down to your skiviis and jumped in?

We’d innertube down that meandering river, my brothers and I.

I skipped my last day of school my senior year to take a long, slow trip downstream with my friend, Mary.

“Come on, Sue,” she said, “what are they gonna do, kick us out? We graduate in 3 days!” Such sweet revenge for all those horrid years spent trapped inside: playing hooky on that last day.

It was a great spot, wasn’t it Rosa? I wonder if kids today still go there. Long as there’s summer in Northfield, I’m sure they do.

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2 thoughts on “Summer in Northfield

  1. My lovely friend, you write with your heart, and this a sweet letter of reminiscence that can be felt…and I’m hearing these words of an inner voice speaking: “the invocation of a reminiscent appreciation and affection that all can relate to, stirring the inner smile that comes to rest softly upon the face.”

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