A daughter announces her move home from Kauai to Santa Cruz. “Two years in the islands is about enough for me,” she says. “I’m broke from the high cost of living, my skin is going to become cancerous if I lay out in the sun any more, and I miss my dog, boat, and friends.” The cottage on the side of the house, where she will take up residence, has been undergoing a deep beauty treatment for several months–a remodel—-and is about ready to come out of the salon with a fresh and stirring countenance.

A bonfire with my brother-in-law last evening, in which we stayed out late under evening stars while talking over life and accounting for what new things in it have come to us. He’s down from the Sierras for a day or two, a reprieve from inland summer temperatures. He still has it in mind to migrate this way when times are right. Now seems good enough to me.

The prominent news story this past week of the rent-a-cop killing a black kid, with a follow-up outpouring of violence and bitter complaint from the TV-induced crowds, reminds me so much of other hot summers in recent American history that were filled with tension, racism, protests, and threats of destruction and retaliation. It seems as if the public looks forward to this time of year to add more sparkles and sky rockets to the concept of freedom and liberty. Without taking sides, but watching the amount of emotion and activity abuzz in the public air waves, I have learned to expect eruptive summertime explosions of the human spirit.

I would prefer, if reasonable and possible, to indulge in other grand, high-summer traditions, such as the picking of blackberries along country lanes, the tender sprouting of children’s lemonade stands, and the noisy business of honey bees collecting nectar and pollen from all the colorful blossom spread. If I were empowered as a royal member of our culture, I would decree that mid-July be a time of most excellent easiness. All I can do, however, is suggest and recommend that we all try to enjoy a spell of summer mellifluence.

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