standing on a beach in 1942

Tonight we were standing on Cherry Beach, talking about that movie from the 70's, Summer of '42. The thing I love best about this beach is that it still looks like it could be 1942. 

The day was changeable – there was warm sun and blue skies, then clouds would move in quick and let fly a little rain, and then the gusty breeze would chase those clouds away again.

It's August and the atmosphere has changed in general, as if by turn of the calendar's page.  They're suble at first, this particular month's changes; maybe imperceptible if you're going about your life with your mind on other things. 

My mind is always on August.  I think August is more beautiful with each passing of it through my life.  (Or with each passing of me through it.) 

Maybe I just dread winter more and more each year, and August represents the tipping of the scales in winter's direction.  As a friend and I discussed this morning, August is that month that invites you outside, and if you don't get out enough you start to get panicky about that; that summer will up and disappear on you even quicker than you'd imagined. 

And August, softer, slower, more generous than the other summer months, rewards you for going out.  Foods with deep colours and more luscious than ever - corn, cantaloupe, beans, peppers, tomatoes – are piled the farmer's market.  Other rich colours begin to line the ditches and fields.  Night time is cooler and time stands quieter while vacations and road trips are carried out before the preparations for back to school and back to full time responsibilities in, dare I say, autumn. 

August seduces me, leading me outside often.  And for that I love her – maybe more than all the other months.   

It was August at the end of Summer of '42.  Subtle changes in the air – bigger changes in that boy.  Are there changes in me this season?  I don't know – get back to me in September, my mind is on the gorgeousness of the waning summer. (Beautiful thing number 54)



  1. Reluctant Blogger August 11, 2011

    What a lovely post. I often do that – stand in places and try to blinker out modern-day things. It’s not always easy but there are places it can be done – the beach is a good one as are parts of the city here and certainly some places in London.
    I am not with you on August though. I dread it a bit. August tends to be disappointing in the UK – cool, cloudy and the nights start to draw in a bit and there is a bit of dew on the grass in the morning. I feel Autumn creeping on. Funnily enough by the time September arrives I have accepted the passing of summer and rather like September and it often surprises me with a last blast of summer. I think my favourite month these days is May – or perhaps 15 May-15 June!! The year should be rejigged to make that a month!!

  2. Susan Tiner August 11, 2011

    I loved that movie. For me, August is the month right before my favorite month, September. I love September because the days grow shorter, the evening temperatures are cooler, and I know winter is coming soon. I love the coolest months the best. Then again, I live in Northern California where the winters are mild.
    You are right that beach does look like 1942.

  3. Jennifer August 11, 2011

    Thanks RB. And yes – in these days with so much bad news, I’m wanting more and more to blinker out things. Oh sure, there were things to worry about then too, but it’s the blinkering out bit… You’re not the only one that will not be with me on the August bit. I tend to be in the minority there! Yet I remain true to August, especially now as I enjoy the most luscious breeze in my window….

  4. Jennifer August 11, 2011

    Actually September is quite gorgeous here too Susan – as is October, for that matter. Each very different.
    I wanted to get a shot of the little life guard station, but there were people there, obstructing the look I wanted to get. It, too, looks quite 1942. Without the spray painted “tag” on it, anyway.

  5. Little hat August 11, 2011

    God, I’ve had too many augusts pass through me. I saw the movie but can’t remember anything about it. I take it it was romantic and moving and about awakening. Am I on the right track?
    Strangely, August in both hemispheres has strong similarities. Here it heralds the end of winter and the anticipation of spring. I went fishing yesterday and found myself standing on a beach up to my calves in water, the sun shining from a clear blue sky and me facing a gentle late-winter ocean. I was wearing a jacket mind, and the occasional wave splashed a little too high and soaked my shorts which reminded me that the Pacific was under the impression that it was still winter.

  6. Donald Kinney August 12, 2011

    August of 1942 was 5 years before my birth, so I guess I’m not all that old… But I never look forward to August because it means I have another birthday coming up — oh, I’ll be younger for just a few more weeks.
    Great seeing you again at Brad and Travis’ show on Wednesday.

  7. Jennifer August 12, 2011

    As I recall, two of the main characters in the movie were teenage boys who were obsessing over having their first sexual experience. I recall a humourous scene in which the main kid was trying to act casual in buying condoms in the little drug store. A married young woman befriended him, and he had a crush on her. And they had sex on a night when she found out her husband was killed in the war.
    The other kid had sex too – with another teenager, and as I remember, he came away looking awkward and scared. The kid who did it with the older woman seemed to come away more philosophical and having matured.
    But yes, you’re much more concise. Awakening. A little moving, not so romantic though. In my mind. Although the cinematography and music were…
    Mid-winter in my world is not gentle. Well maybe night snowfalls feel gentle when there is no wind. But there would be no standing in any body of water!

  8. Jennifer August 12, 2011

    And then you’ll be younger than your next birthday, at least Donald! At any rate, happy birthday in advance!

  9. Selma August 16, 2011

    This is one of the most beautiful posts you have written. I like how you describe the abundance of August, the prettiness of it as well as that little thing that is always at the back of your mind that says – ‘Winter is coming….’
    The photos are incredible. Perfect!

  10. Jennifer August 16, 2011

    Aw thank you Selma!

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