The Last Summer....

Time's a funny thing. In many ways the only thing. The only thing each of us -- great or small -- has in absolute common. At least for as long as we have it.

It's said that at times, time stops. I'm not sure about that; but like you, I know there are those intersections in which it pauses. In those treasured pauses, both our heads and hearts are touched and tinged in ways that affect the rest of our lives. Biographers carefully report them in their stories of prophets and kings, saints and sinners. We are none of those. But they did happen to you. And to me. Remembering them might help us better understand the people in power in our world.

In my case, it was a small lake in Wisconsin. Geologically it was millions of years old. Chronologically I was 18 years old. But my heart...ahh in that summertime pause, my heat was for a time eternal.

She was older, about 24 or 25. I had never seen her before. But I had known her before. Every-time I dreamed of meeting the-girl-of-my-dreams while my buddies bragged about theirs. My heart and my hormones had been promising her to me. Now -- now on this starry night sitting on this grand white wraparound porch -- there she sat. Wearing a frilly gingham dress over a lean tanned body. Long auburn hair lifting slightly under the wings of a lake wind that smelled of peonies and promise.

Perhaps I'd seen too many movie love-stories back home. But wait...! Perhaps this was my love story at come true. Too careful to ruin the pause, I never said a word to her. I would sleep on the dream, and find a way to join her at breakfast. Yes! Cool and cautious was the best way to approach a pedestal. After all, there was an entire summer ahead.

But there was no summer ahead. The girl-of-my-dreams wasn't at breakfast. Someone reported she had checked out early. Why? Where? How? I'd live long enough never to know. Only to wonder. To pause and wonder about one of those what-if's that lace our lives. Especially when we're 18.....

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