We are not necessarily hat people in my family. Except in the summer, of course. I mean, we care about our heads, we just don’t particularly care to adorn them. But, when I noticed that David’s lovely, smooth head was starting to speckle like a quail egg, I hauled out the hats. While the chic beach goers can be seen in broad, elegant straw hats I am most often found under a cricket hat. I have a beautiful straw hat given to me by my friend. Every time I wear it people comment and give me the thumbs up. My friend wears hats year round as needed. In the summer she has a perfectly-proportioned buttermilk colored straw hat with a broad black ribbon around the crown. When we went to Nantucket just before Christmas she bought us both cashmere cloches. My friend looked like a 1920s French gamin in hers. I looked like a penis in mine. No really. Anyway, the cricket hat. You know how they look, right? Bright white and stiff brimmed, pristine and evocative of long lazy afternoons, green grass and Pimm’s Cup.
I am slowly coming home. Every time my toes curl into the hot sand at the beach, my fingers pull at a weed in the garden or pluck the clothes pegs from the clean laundry snapping on the line I feel another little root take hold. We have a whole summer to find our way back, a soft landing a friend called it, a place that already feels safe and beautiful and right to us all. We are very lucky.
Still, September is only a month away and already, the sun rises later, the moon looks more golden, dahlias unfurling faster and faster, hydrangeas fading. It is time to think beyond the Cape.
Listen here, Rachael Carson, it’s not that I disagree with you about the effect pesticides have on our environment and future generations. No, I am 100 percent with you on that. It’s just that I have earwigs the size of Smart Cars and they are about to lift my entire raised-bed cutting garden and carry it home to their nest. Now, I picture that nest as a dark, stalactite dripping cave where giant earwigs in evening clothes recline on red velvet couches sipping silver goblets of hydrangea leaf nectar while smaller earwigs gyrate on a down-lit dance floor. Petals nibbled from my dahlias decorate every surface.