The Last Breath of Summer

Summer sighed to a close as I spent the long weekend with dear friends at a rural property in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

There was a red leaf on the table of my cabin, like a memo.

A caboose cottage nestled in the grass. One evening it rained, so we crowded into the caboose, watched my film on a laptop, drank Poire William, etched ideas , politics and debate into the night.

A hearty Quebecois breakfast made my tastebuds scurrry to make sense of the opposing flavours: sweet baked beans, the acid plumminess of fresh tomato, the piquancy of the scrambled eggs. A carnival of taste.

That evening, spaghetti sauce of fresh tomatoes, zucchini,peppers and spicy Italian sausage that M.A. laboured all afternoon to make. Her face was peaceful and determined as she simmered the fragrant sauce over a Coleman’s stove.

Another evening there were Lebanese chicken brochettes grilled over white hot coals. There was raucous singing around a campfire, there were blackened pots heating water over the flames.

There were stars so bright my heart ached, for everything the city conceals.

I slept in a cabin in the woods, its screened windows open to summer’s final heat one night, and fall’s steady wind the next.

Summer’s last breath, the forest like a lung.

A final swim in a silken pond, accompanied by purple dragonflies.


  1. Jealous ’bout that last swim. Everything’s have cooled right down here and it’s probably too late for another ocean dip, though, if the weather holds a couple more days, I’m gonna try. xs

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