As the weather warms up in this hemisphere, lots of folks are happily soaking up the sunshine they’ve been missing and making small talk about how lovely the weather is. Here, though, as with many places affected by Sandy, the approach of summer is somewhat complicated.
In New Jersey the warmer months typically mean summer days spent on the beaches and boardwalks of the Shore by locals and Bennies alike. But with our communities–many of which depend financially as much as anything on the summer traffic–still very much in recovery, the return of ice cream men and Springsteen-heavy backyard parties to the landscape creates something of an anxiety. People have yet to get the funding to demolish their homes, let alone start to reconstruct their lives. As for the boardwalks, well, most are still unwalkable.
So here’s to the summers we’ve built our lives with so far, and those we hope to have.
The pine barrens 50 miles south of us
kill themselves every ninety years.
The way they live–hoarding sunlight
and rain–pirating away the lesser
parts of the woods until only the fewer giants
remain, making a thinner forest.
—from ‘The Dying of the Light’ by BJ Ward
My love came up from Barnegat,
The sea was in his eyes;
He trod as softly as a cat
And told me terrible lies.