Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wildwood Days, Wildwood Nights

I came across this quote today that I had copied when I was reading Philip Roth's Everyman. He has a habit of writing passages that hit home like a smack in the head from an ill-tempered nun.
But how much time could a man spend remembering the best of boyhood? What about enjoying the best of old age? Or was the best of old age just that--the longing for the best of boyhood, for the tubular sprout that was then his body and that rode the waves from way out where they began to build, rode them with his arms pointed like an arrowhead and the skinny rest of him following behind like the arrow’s shaft, rode them all the way in to where his rib cage scraped against the tiny sharp pebbles and jagged clamshells and pulverized seashells at the edge of the shore and he hustled to his feet and hurriedly turned and went lurching through the low surf until it was knee high and deep enough for him to plunge in and begin swimming madly out to the rising breakers--into the advancing, green Atlantic, rolling unstoppably toward him like the obstinate fact of the future--and, if he was lucky, make it there in time to catch the next big wave then the next and the next and the next until from the low slant of inland sunlight glittering across the water he knew it was time to go.
The beautiful part is that we still go to the Jersey shore every year and now my kids are experiencing the same thing. The same exhilaration, the same exhaustion, the same sense of joy tinged with the sad knowledge that it soon will be over. 

I'm ready for summer.

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