gray asphalt road

This was the best summer since the first seasons of the world

This was the best summer since the first seasons of the world. He did not believe in God, but God had made this summer full of blue winds and heat and pigeons in the house wood. There were no chimneys on the hills with no name in the distance, only the trees which stood like women and men enjoying the sun; there were no cranes or coal-tips, only the nameless distance and the hill with seven trees. He could think of no words to say how wonderful the summer was, or the noise of the wood-pigeons, or the lazy corn blowing in the half wind from the sea at the river’s end. There were no words for the sky and the sun and the summer country; the birds were nice, and the corn was nice.

A Prospect of the Sea by Dylan Thomas

This short story about the perfect summer is part of a prose collection by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. I don’t think of Wales when I think of summer. But I do think of Australia, where I was—in southern hemisphere summer—when I plucked this book out of a pile left in a box on a sidewalk in Sydney.

This passage, and my memories of how it landed in front of my eyes—eventually—two years later, put a certain aesthetic of “the best summer” in my head. The blues and yellows evoke the heat, the sun, the sky, the hot wind, the lazy air, the corn, the birds, and “the summer country.”

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