Overcast skies that break into sun when the four o’clocks open. A blue-mooned month. Night, and the streets are less crowded, but still lively, as the men laugh loudly, in a place they can call their own, and wed whom they want. Marriages on the beach; shark sightings, sail boats rides at sunset. Treasures of summer, a season that included two recent fatalities. One, a woman I had just met mid-summer at a reading, a librarian who loved books and writers. Mist-filled mornings and night,with fog so thick it lashes onto the glass. Summer calls, hurry, hurry, I am here momentarily, so seize me quick.
It is there in the horizon, the coolness of the nights, the reach for a scarf or sweater at dinner. The garden looks slightly spent in spots; the fennel and oregano have been in flower for weeks now. Autumn winks, hints it won’t be long before pencils sharpen, fresh notebooks packed into backpacks. Summer, you are never more ravishing than when you are ready to slip away.
When one comes back from a book festival, one’s arms are loaded with books. Mine were, along with a goodie bag full of chocolates, more books, and cloth bags. I also carried back a gallon of raw milk, and two large tubs of yogurt. Bliss. Of course I cut a comical scene with my bags slipping off each other every few paces, my arms threatening to fall off, but soon, I reached home, after one of the most invigorating and fun weekends I’d had in along while.
The Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival is offered up every two years, and this year was presented in two locations, in Edgartown, and in Chilmark. A heartfelt thank you to Suellen Lazarus and Bunch of Grapes Bookstore for organizing the events so seamlessly and so generously, and to Maggie Shipstead, Kitty Pilgrim, and J.Courtney Sullivan, plus our gracious tour-guide Howard for being such good company. And a shout-out to the lovely Joan Nathan who set the ball rolling.
Festivities for the authors included a number of receptions and breakfasts, including one in the very palatial yet discreet place that rumour has the Obamas staying at on their vacation. I sipped mineral water and wondered what it would be like to wake up with the ocean in one’s backyard.
Very nice indeed, I imagine. Very nice indeed.
You blink. It is hard to believe this bullet shaped body, green like a parrots, hovering in front you and beating its wings so fast, the sound is as thick as a bee hive. It wanted the lavender astilbe which finally decided to bloom, the specific bloom I was standing next to. It looked at the bloom, then at me. I f I reached out my hand just a little, I could try to touch it, but I stood still, thinking it would surely move on. We had a human to bird face-down, I waiting for it to move, and it for me. I spoke to it all the while, and maybe my voice kept it hovering. When it finally darted away, I stepped through the garden and turned from the stairs to watch. It perched on a tree, and only when the coast was clear, waded in. My metaphors are mixed because the hummingbird is a mix of a bird and bee to me. I will post the video from last year of the boy and his rescue of a hummingbird below.
Meanwhile, I attended two phenomenal literary events. One was the Wequassett Literary Luncheon, presented by the Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore on Cape Cod. Every summer,week by week, guests fill the banquet halls to lunch with old friends and hear various writers talk and read from their new books. I accompanied J.Courtney Sullivan, author of The Engagements, a book that is engaging from the first page, and Ann Hood, whose most recent book is The Obituary Writer. It was a lively event, with an audience who listened intently, loving books so much to spend a summer day inside. My table was filled by multi-generational members of a family tree and friends, with makes true the notion books create literal and figurative companions.
Boy& Hummingbird http://youtu.be/LvrcdQWzH-8