In Spanish, “querencia” describes a place where one feels safe, a place from which one's identity is drawn, a place where one feels most at home. For some people, querencia is associated with nature—a particular city or landscape or body of water. For others, querencia is associated with certain people or animals. My querencia is summer at camp. Living in Maine in the summer centers me for the rest of the year when I can’t be here.
Now it is late August. Once again, we are sleeping under the comforter, not just a single sheet. Acorns drop from the oaks onto the roof. The loons from all over the lake gather at our end to make their travel plans before heading south to do whatever they do all winter. These loon conventions are called “stagings.” We watch them practice their take offs and landings on the open stretches of the water and we hear them yodel in flight.
It is a pity that summer has to end. But each summer’s memories help us through the rest of the year so that we have something great to look forward to. We do take some of the summer bounty with us when we leave. We harvest the cranberries by the shore to make jelly for our Thanksgiving dinner. And the blueberry jam we’ve made for our English muffins will last all winter. Leaving is bittersweet. Time to paint my toenails red and head back