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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Friday, August 1, 2008

The month of July

I've spent a whole month here, returning today to Massachusetts, and if anything my love of the place has deepened. It's partly the rhythm of a simpler life (not to mention a nearly complete lack of conventional responsibilities!), but also I leave knowing I'll be back soon, and often. Vacations from work are exciting because there's a tinge of desperation in every hike or cathedral or grand hotel; you try your hardest to enjoy every minute. Retirement from work stretches time out. The affairs of the world don't intrude so much, or you can deal with them with more equanimity. Ten days back home may change my mind, but I don't think so. The dog will think differently.

I've had the full array of July flowers, the famous July fogs, three weeks of raspberries, the heat of high summer, and wonder of wonders, there's August still to come. I don't have to obsess about maximizing deck time, waiting for osprey to help purge tension; the hunters will be there when I return, and the tension is mostly gone. I don't have to bemoan the fog that eats up half a week; nobody's keeping track of those weeks anymore. I can still get mad at jets taking off too close and dogs that yip all day in the rental cottage next door, but that's because they're unnatural, reminders of the way life shouldn't necessarily be.

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