The end of Summer

I fly to Leeds this afternoon. It has been lovely to have a day and a half in the snuggle-house, to pack, to recover, to reflect. It was a good summer. We got back to Norway from Monterey on Monday night. Our Austrian paragliding licenses arrived in the post yesterday – hurrah!! Two years after we began learning, we are now fully qualified paraglider pilots. Yippee!!!

It’s always sad to leave, but I’m anxious to get on with my chapter. I think I’ve had enough sunshine to keep me going for a while. After paragliding in Salt Lake, we spent a week in Monterey California, where the lovie had a conference. I managed to get some reading and writing done, in between splashing in the pool and spotting otters and sea lions. I saw an otter in the harbour, swimming on its back, cradling a baby otter on its belly! This has to be the highlight.

And yesterday, I cycled out to the lakes. I had planned to do lots of cycling this summer, but I got sick. I love the smooth, connected feel of it – the way I can feel the road through the handlebars and the pedals, when my feet are locked in with the cleats. I love the wind in my face, and going fast uphill as well as down. I love the fields and the lakes and the birch trees sliding past, the dark, crowded avenues of pines, the taste of the cool air and the sun on my back. I sat at the lake for a while, watching the pale blue reflection of the sky hovering silvery above the deeper, earthy blue of the lake’s depths. These lakes, through Australian eyes, still seem ridiculously abundant. It is good here. But I carry it with me. It will last.

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3 thoughts on “The end of Summer

  1. I wish we’d had as much sun as you, this summer has been a washout literally. I loved Monterey when I went there some years ago, we were there when the jazz festival was on which was quite special. I love the sea otters too, they’re so lovely. I did look for Steinbeck but could find no trace of him on Cannery Row which was a shame just lots of tacky shops but it was interesting all the same. Good luck with the chapter and welcome back to water-logged England.

  2. I love the description of riding your bike to the lakes: cycling is such a return to childhood for me. I still love it.

    Only an australian could appreciate the wonder of all that water!
    (well, perhaps a sudanese…)

    I love the feeling, when you are in Europe, of looking all around and thinking, this is all so fantastically improbable.
    only it isn’t, it’s real.

  3. thanks lizzie! yes, i spent enough time in the uk over the past four months to know it wasn’t the place to be. that said, today was gorgeous and warm – i hope it was in wales too!

    yes, fifi, europe is magic! but ordinary as well, you slowly discover. the first time i was here, i thought it was in danger of evaporating…

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