Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And Never the Twain Shall Meet

There’s a man on Washington Island, my summer home, who does an amazing impersonation of Mark Twain. He’s got the hair, the mustache, the voice and the humor. He wears a custom-made white suit and riffs Twain-isms for a few hours in a solo show that, unfortunately, started about ten minutes ago.

I fully intended to go. I knew I’d enjoy it. But it rained off and on all day today before gradually stopping, and now the setting sun is shooting gold through the few drops still falling to the field behind my house. So here I sit, pausing every few words to look out at garden beds tipsy with water and overflowing with arugula, lettuces, basil, beans, peas, tomato and cucumber plants.

Wild grapes vine over the wooden framework of an ice-fishing shanty pressed into service as an arbor. In the distance sandhill cranes practice their throaty gargles. And the light. It’s Midwestern, mid-summer evening, otherworldly kind of light and nothing short of a tornado—and maybe not even that—will get me off the screen porch tonight.

There’s a lot going on around here in the summer. It can be hard to fit it all in, even the good stuff like a one-man-show or a yoga class. There are gardens to weed and children to hug; bald eagles to spot and cherry pies to bake. If the reason we miss an activity is because a moment in our lives is too sweet, just then, to leave it, well...bingo.

I think Mark Twain would agree.

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