Summer Seductions

Lake Harriet Bandshell on a quiet summer afternoon.

Lake Harriet Bandshell on a quiet summer afternoon.

We’re in the midst of one of the most glorious summers imaginable.

A side note here: Most Minnesotans would never write the sentence above because we’re superstitious about our weather. Saying the weather is glorious could jinx the whole thing. The weather might hear, you know, and then it can all change in a snap.

This summer, however, deserves a shout out.

So far – and we have passed the halfway mark of the three month season – we’ve experienced the ideal mix of sun, heat, and rain to produce bumper crops of tomatoes in the back yard and farmer’s markets abundant with stunning greens. We’ve experienced the warm humid embrace of afternoons demanding time with a book on the porch where the ceiling fan creates the idea of a breeze. And we’ve experienced the roll of booming thunder from driving storms that wash away the humidity and leave clear blue mornings.

This perfect sequence of sun, heat, humidity, then storms has minimized any need to drag out the hose for watering duties this year. It makes one grateful for the mother of nature and those higher, greater powers watching out for this planet.

When the humidity, sun, and heat are just right, cities on the North Coast empty out as anyone with a cabin or friends Up North head to the lakes to admire the buoyancy and sweet cooling impact of an inner tube on water. And that leaves the cities to us.

We live between two of the loveliest lakes in Minneapolis – Calhoun is two blocks north with its volleyball nets and dueling beaches at each end. It’s the younger, hipper of the lakes. It’s where the motorcyclists like to show off their rides in a long line of bikes parked side by side to emphasize the differences of their lines. The elegant Somalis in ankle-length sarongs stroll around the lake next to teens in bikinis and older men carrying fishing poles to the docks, hoping the big fish that lounge in the depths come up for just one bite.

To the east is Lake Harriett featuring a band shell angled just so that the music wafts to our porch for evening concerts that are usually pleasing from here. When the music is exceptional, we find ourselves drawn to join the crowd at the lake where we enjoy the shared camaraderie that performers can create in an appreciative audience. And every now and then – twice so far this year – the smell of food from the adjacent grill draw us over for a scoop of ice cream.

I know this season will pass into the next and become a mere memory so we’ll continue to relish the seductive pleasures of this summer on the North Coast and appreciate the warmth while it’s here.