Point of View: Enlightening

Where are the summers of yesteryear?

One can be exceedingly buoyed by the aura of good will that exists here, but, for the most part, in order to revel in it you’ve got to arise at first light, which I have been doing for a number of weeks now. 

It’s something of a trade-off: While early-morning ocean swims, triathlons, and road races are energizing, especially, as I said, when it comes to their bonhomie and all-for-one spirit — qualities so evident here that you wish the core of every community in the world could be like this — the leisure beat can be exhausting.

A nap usually does the trick, but I do find myself wondering sometimes whatever has become of summer — summer in the traditional sense, not as we know it here, with its lazy days and pickup baseball games and caressing nights you think will never end. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Not all this jostling, elbowing, and rushing about. Where are the summers of yesteryear? Not here, Bub.

“Honk If You Love Peace and Quiet” still ranks as the best bumper sticker I’ve ever seen. (In southern Vermont, as a matter of fact.)

Well, enough complaining. Getting up early, even for one so inclined to sleep his life away, is worth it, for the reasons mentioned above. I come back from these forays so impressed by what I’ve seen that I’m speaking in tongues, and feel as if my cup is overflowing. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. . . .

Competitive yet full of fellow-feeling, these events are, indeed, to borrow a word from one of them, I-Tri’s youth triathlon, “transforming,” their example serving as a template for a more enlightened society, one in which all are encouraged to do their best, for themselves first and foremost, but also for others.

A good education for all, good health care for all. That is our best defense.