HORNER’S CORNER: Keep summer memories safe

It's going to be a long, cold winter before we can make some more

Labour Day has come and gone and now we must all leave summer behind us.

It’s time to get back to work, to refocus our efforts, either at our place of business or at our school. Routine will once again hold sway over our daily lives.

I suppose it’s comforting in a way — familiar.

There is a time for adventures, but that time has passed, at least for now.

But what’s that you say? You didn’t have any summertimea adventures?

Oh I don’t think so. Whether or not you had adventures this summer really only depends on how low you are willing to set the bar.

Was rappelling seven storeys into the blackness of the rainbarrell in Horne Lake Caves an adventure? I sure thought so at the time, but realistically I was on a guided tour.

Was riding the tide with mask and snorkel at Manson’s Landing an adventure? It sure felt like it as I was swept over the creatures on the bottom like a jet fighter. Realistically though Alex and I were being swept into the safety of the shallows. Was this another ersatz adventure? Maybe.

How about kayaking from Smelt Bay on Cortes Island to Shark Spit on Marina, and from there paddling to explore mysterious Carrington Lagoon? It sure was fun, but it’s not like we were in the total wilderness or anything. There was even toilet paper in one of the outhouses!

Perhaps going to the airshow in Comox with Alex and his grandpa was an adventure — if only in trying to extricate ourselves from the parking lot once all the flying was finished.

How about walking the docks at Cowichan Bay, dreaming about sailboats? It was more of an excursion, really I suppose.

Then there was hunting for octopus on Hornby Island. We didn’t find any — again — but it was sure fun looking!

Maybe sitting on the back porch, watching the Perseid meteor shower until all hours of the night was an adventure. Perhaps hitching a ride to get ice cream for the first time ever with my son was an adventure. It sure seemed like one for him.

Normally you wouldn’t describe the guy at the Chemainus restaurant interrupting the family of Italian tourists to first go ga-ga over their baby and then begin a one-sided conversation about Sylvio Berlusconi’s bunga-bunga parties as being an adventure, but Alex and I would disagree. Talk about awkward! Yikes!

But that’s the thing. Where do we draw the line? To me, who has been kindly described as having a “rich inner life,” all of these things can be seen as adventures. Why? Because they’re memorable. These moments — and there were many of them actually — defined my summer of 2013.

I bet every one of you out there has at least one such favourite moment from the past three months that similarly defines your summer. Maybe it was something at a barbecue or a party. Maybe it was a sunset on the beach, building a sandcastle, moving to the music at a festival or visiting a friend in a far-away place.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Maybe it was just an unspoken moment of closeness  with the love of your life or the way your little nephew or niece laughed that time when you made a funny face.

All of you, I’m almost certain, had at least one such slice of time that in later years you’ll remember as “oh, that was in the summer of 2013.”

Hold onto that moment. Treasure it. Keep it safe. The word is it’s going to be a long, cold hard winter. We’re going to need that little bit of inner warmth.


Neil Horner is the assistant editor of The NEWS and a regular columnist.



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