Mid-August has come and gone. Always in New Hampshire, by our lake, August meant clear air, down from the mountains, blue skies swept clean by August breezes, with days of whitecaps on the lake, and – in the old days – the unmistakable call to the high places, the mountaintops, the far view, the “closer walk with Thee,” then home, to the cool evening and a fire in the fireplace, for reading, and talking, and being together as a family.
In the dining room Molly would put out the Scrabble board, and two or three children would gather round to match their wits with hers. Sometimes I might sit to one side with my sketch book to see if I could catch the likeness of one or two of them.
In later years I’ve been content to read, after the thick book of American history, relieved by a Louis L’Amour record of the west. Some evenings were good for letters to just say to someone dear to me, but far from me, that I loved them, and why.
The handwritten letter in later years, has been more often the choice – for a way to stay in touch. My penmanship has deteriorated, but my joy in the remembering, and writing has increased as a wonderful exercise of the heart, to let people know I remember, and that they are dear to me, and near to my heart. “Blest be the tie that binds!”
August always held invigorating days – just by the air – with the hint of autumn coming, the time of deep reds and gold in the maple leaves, and oak. I could paddle up the Pine River and see beautiful forest trees having been touched by an invisible hand.
Fall coming, with brilliant colors, always made it easier to face the prospect of winter. Sad as it seemed, it always said, “This is my Father’s world,” and it will turn, round again, always bringing another spring, and another summer. Because it’s God’s world, and He cares.
And, if I fall into sadness, on a melancholy day in summer, it comes quickly back to me – often as my wise and faithful Molly’s own understanding – as she says, “We are so blessed to have this long, good life together. What a gift. What a gift.”
Love you, friends.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES