I most enjoy watching summer arrive in Northeast Ohio, returning color and form to gray and sparse winter landscapes. The venues may change for me from year to year because it’s the sense of discovery I want to nurture. Seeing tiny white wildflowers push up through leaf mold, digging for ramps to prepare with dinner from a woodland that days ago was wall-to-wall Virginia bluebells, and watching my backyard fern bed achieve shoulder-high stature all are experiences that can’t be ranked. It matters not where I paddle out to the Lake Erie breakwall, wade in the chilled surf line, or raise a toast to the sunset. It’s all as good as feeling the sun on bare shoulders, enjoying a patio dinner with friends as fireflies flicker into evening, or stretching slumber away in the cool dawn breeze from an open window. I may travel beyond the distant horizons, but I’m delighted, committed and overjoyed to be a native Northeast Ohioan.
I'm leaving for Louisville, Ky. in a few days to develop stories about the Bourbon Trail and ziplining in a cave for the News-Herald's. travel section. But this week's work on an upcoming section about close-to-home "staycations" has me almost wanting to stick around here. My part of the project was to tell folks about Geneva-on-the-Lake, where the season now begins on Mothers Day not Memorial Day, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. among others. It's been a great reintroduction to places that make life so purely delightful in this part of the world.
The thoughts above are part of the assignment. We've all been asked to write about our favorite summertime things to do close to home. My problem is I just can't choose. I love this time of year... all of it.
Labels: ramps, shoulder high ferns. distant horizons, wildflowers