A few moments ago at 11:16 AM, MDT, Spring closed down and Summer opened up. MIDSUMMER Now the action of the days and nights will be ripening and the movement: toward Harvest, as the days get shorter and shorter, darker and darker. It will now be allowable, I am happy to say, to think of the coming of Christmas. It's an important day: Midsummer.
Sixty-three years ago, at about this exact hour, we were on the first day of our honeymoon, having left Denver for points north to Yellowstone for the fishing. Well past Cheyenne in our 1937 Chevrolet coupe, we began to hear that worst of all sounds in all the world: a bearing had burned out in our engine, and the piston rod was trying to hammer its way out of the engine block. We limped into tiny Glendo and there spent three of the most remarkable days our lives. (Read all about it in Notes from an Old Fly Book.)
My point is: if you must venture forth on Midsummer, be cautious. There are strange forces at work.
I call to mind J.M. Barrie's highly popular West End and Broadway circa 1900 play DEAR BRUTUS. In it a fashionable assortment of dreadfully messed-up, unhappy people respond to an invitation to spend a long week-end at a grand country estate, south of London in Surrey, the home of the strange and eccentric Mr. Lobb. Of course it is Midsummer (Why else would I bring it up? And, of course, Shakespeare haunts this play too.)
Old Lobb warns his guests that they should not venture out into his Woods that night, that it is extremely dangerous.
And so, of course, that is exactly what they all do. They go out there and encounter forces that enable them to go back and relive and redirect their lives away from all the destructive frailties that ruin our lives. The guests are highly excited and go about changing themselves.
When they come out of the Woods at dawn, they find that they have made the same terrible choices, taken the same wrong turnings, and are still as utterly miserable as they were before this Midsummer night. Old Lobb is full of glee.
So, I say, Beware!
Cassius: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
but in ourselves that we are underlings.
Betty and I took our chances this morning and drove out into the country and had breakfast at a country crossroad. We took our chances as we begin our 64th. year of risking it. We have the protective spell of Glendo still working for us.