Summer Dreaming

We all love the long lazy days of summer, well except when they are too hot to even touch the car door handle.  I have been stifled by the heat and humidity lately making it hard to do much more than sleep and eat. This has led to a habit of napping each afternoon. A luxury of being retired I do enjoy. You get tired, you lay down and nap for a bit.

One recent nap had me dreaming, no really remembering in a dream a wonderful summer evening spent years ago. My large family did a lot of camping during the summer in my early years.  I find that my connection with nature is where I believe I am connected to that higher power and feel at peace. This began without conscious thought as a young child, thanks mom and dad.  Nature also was when we had a lot of fun and adventure, got our feet wet and enjoyed ourselves as a family.

With seven children my folks were hard pressed to make time for each child as we were wandering thru life. I may have said this before but I do remember asking to learn to draw from my mom at an early age. Mom being an artist and teacher this gave me “extra” time that some of my siblings did not get. My parents also made a tradition of making each of our birthdays special. On that day the birthday kid got to pick out what the family would eat for dinner. We of course chose our favorite flavor for the home made cake too. I do recall that one sister always wanted strawberry flovored cake. Mine was and still is chocolate. However I do short cut and buy the most luxurious chocolate cake I can find.

My dream had me remembering a summer camping trip along the shore of a beautiful lake. We set up camp on the day of my birthday and no I don’t recall what we had for dinner that night. However I do recall the taste of the wonderful chocolate cake my mom made in the camp oven on our Coleman stove. I was amazed that the two layers came out so high and even. The sun was just beginning to set with bright yellow and reds in the sky. My dad asked if I wanted to join him and my mom for a short canoe trip on the lake.

I jumped at the chance to have special time with the two of them. I also knew we had to wait for the cake to cool before any icing. As we got away from shore the sky seemed to just light up with brighter and brighter colors, yellow, peach and stark red here and there. I was fascinated with the change of colors reflected in the water of the lake too. Then all of sudden music, a carillon from a distance shore was playing from a tower. This is one of my most powerful memories with both my parents one that I have treasured.

A few years ago as part of a crazy quilt round robin a member of this group asked each of us to recall a family memory to use in our block for her quilt. I had to replicate this wonderful memory. I started the block with the sky, using hand dyed silk in crazy patch. I used a variegated dyed cotton thread to emphasize the searing bright colors of the sunset. I then placed strips of batik fabric for the lake at the  bottom. I machine quilted the strips leaving raw edges in flowing shapes to mimic the light waves of the lake. Green spruce trees were then done in layers of feather stitch on the shore line. Last I added the canoe, a bright yellow one. My dad made two canoes in this bright yellow fiberglass. I had to have that to complete this memory.  Yet I see I forgot the bell tower.

As I look at this picture I am transported back to that moment, remembering the wonder and connection to nature that moment was in my life. I hold to the memory, it did come back to me in my dream and I find myself just as happy as I was floating on that lake.

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