In the last days of August in Maine we try to wring every last drop of summer from the few warm days remaining before autumn. We all have projects we swore we’d finish; mine include refinishing a floor, developing a web page, and yes, getting that next book started. But with winter practically right around the corner, it’s important to get outdoors when we can, if only to replenish our stores of Vitamin D, and a dog is the perfect excuse to go…yes! to the beach!
Here on Moose Island, the beaches are mostly rocky. But if you time your visit to nearly high tide, you can find a stretch of sand to walk on and a stick of driftwood to toss into the waves for your dog to fetch. If he’s like mine, he will want to do this until your arm falls off.
There was an era in my life when I felt that beach activities — also lake activities, forest activities, mountain activities, and river activities — were all just ways to fritter away time that might better be used for writing.
But now I think it might be the other way around. Time spent outdoors, especially during the golden state of grace that is a Maine island summer, seems to fuel everything else I want to accomplish. Fresh air and exercise, sunshine and salt water, all seem to carbonate my blood with the kind of fizz that bubbles up later into pages with words on them.
Not that I’ve been neglecting my other responsibilities. That web page I mentioned, for instance: you might as well have a look. It’s at www.sarahgraves.net and although it’s still under construction, it is far enough along that I could use your comments and advice. Be warned: it might look a little rough around the edges, since when I’m not at the beach I’m still cudgeling my brains over it. Still, I built it myself so I’m a teensy bit proud of it.
As for the refinished floor, no pictures of that, I’m afraid. I did scrape umpty-ump layers of varnish off the gorgeous old white pine, and sand umpty-ump layers more. Now if I could just figure out how to get the orbital sander under the radiator…
But not today, since here we are in the last days of August. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there’s a little breeze blowing, so it’s not too hot. Soon it will be nearly high tide, which means the dog and I will be going back to the beach — because if your dog is happy then you must be doing something right, is my position on the matter.