Summer Reading


Jeff Lund

Ketchikan, Alaska – There’s a single hammer pounding on a roof around the cove. Every couple of hours a plane banks and lines up for final approach into the Klawock airport. The lone hemlock that stands in front of the yard sways with dignity unlike the alders and their dry leaves that are noisy in the wind.

This is why I find it hard to read during the summer. Too many simple distractions. There are eagles. Of the few clouds, there’s one that looks like a grayling. Another that’s an elk hair caddis and then there are thin, white ones that aren’t much of anything except for what they are supposed to be.

A few nights ago, around a campfire in which everything from proper sticks for S’mores to the importance of historical context when reading literature was discussed, I admitted my problem with reading.

I said I couldn’t, not during summer.

It abruptly stopped the fluid conversation I was having with the most avid reader at the campfire, one who has one of my favorite books, The River Why in her top 5.
She was confused, incredulous, something. She tilted her head, her face, lit up by the coals and warm flame of the campfire, was somewhere between confused and disappointed.

“But what if there’s a really good story?”

I stood my sandy ground, knowing she was right…

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