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Summers seemed endless when I was a girl. Endless days of swimming in the sea, building wet sloppy sand dams against the incoming tide with my brother and cousins, laying my wool covered body - yes swim suits were knitted by my mother - down in a warm tide pool behind the dam waiting for the incoming tide to send its waves over the dam and eventually destroy it, sending us running to dryer beach ground. The days were marked by the tide, when was high tide, when low tide? When to swim, when to dig for critters, fill up the bucket, find the warm rivulets of water circulating between my toes as my soft feet were massaged by the ribs of sand created by the strong pull of the outgoing tide.
Sensation, sensation, light, so much light from long days as we lived at the 52nd parallel. My body filled up with salty smells, soft warm sand, was scraped by barnacles on tide posts, by exhilarating wave rides dumping me on the shell clad beach. My muscles grew strong climbing up the dunes to get to the beach from our camp, my limbs grew longer as we rolled our bodies over and over down the steep dunes again and again. Those were summers of goodness, of space, of discovery. I learned more about life in those three weeks of summer - for that’s all it was, I found out later, three weeks - than in ten months of sitting in school benches. In these endless summers I learned about the essences of life and formed some rules for living.
I’m setting out for my summer nomadic life. The rhythm of the season is calling me away from my home base, and the trek is to the North, first to the 65th parallel, where the light will be endless with only 3 1/2 hours of semi darkness in a day, then to the 52nd parallel for the summer solstice. I will discover new wonders of nature in a geyser filled volcanic landscape. I will move across the dutch waters for days on end, using my muscles to row from place to place. I will walk and hike in the deep German forests uphill and downhill, laughing with siblings as in my youth. I will rest in the warm company of friends and family to let my guard down and let myself be held. Planes, airports, trains, hotel rooms and boat huts will be my temporary homes. I will meet people and I will have to let them go again.
I will gather images and knowledge not to be found in my back yard. I will learn more about living and myself. I will come back to this continent and hike the wilderness, day in day out, in the simplicity of a sunrise - sunset rhythm, drinking in what nature offers, as I did as a little girl. I hope to touch that feeling of unencumbered endlessness that fuels hope, inspiration and new beginnings.