Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Invincible Summer

No less a worthy than Albert Camus (whom I admit to not having read since a French lit course at Carleton in the 1960's) is reported to have said "in the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." Nice. Good album title. Oh, sorry Ms. Lang, you did get to it first. And a fine recording it is, too.

I started looking for summer quotes as the world turned to iron in -15 degree temperatures this morning. I was looking for quotes about summer as I suspect there are a number of us out there thinking ahead...way gentle summer days again, as an antidote to the brute force of winter. And of course, the historical reaction is to look back...way how we once celebrated our summer days.

A few times before Christmas I tried to put together something clever about summer days gone by for the Quinte Arts Council's Umbrella arts newspaper (there being little in my estimation to celebrate in the advancing buffalo-robe-in-the-cutter season). My subject was to be the iconic resort Lakeshore Lodge. This past October I spent a lovely afternoon there, sitting under the oak trees listening to the wind, climbing over the limestone ledges, exploring the ruined foundation for resonances. Trying to link what I was seeing and feeling with the archival photographs which are all that remains.

On a whim, I cycled round and round the crumbling terrazzo dance floor humming 'after the ball is over'. Later I chatted with some fellows guiltily harvesting nearby beach stones for a gardening project (and they were worried that I'd noticed them!) I brought out all my memories of this place, and enjoyed them, like a beach-comber's treasures. From childhood car trips right up to the sunny October afternoon with Jo at West Point.

I've just revisited the place today, via Tom Cruikshank's tribute in the Settler's Dream, and this lovely postcard view. There's sun on the vine-covered verandahs. The summer trees are filled with birdsong. There are folks at the front door, waiting to greet you. Welcome to summer.

Left: photo credit to PEC Library and Archives. Thanks, Krista.
Right: the Lakeshore Lodge crest on the terrazzo dance floor.
Centre: a forgotten corner of the lodge
Bottom: the path to the lodge, sans lodge

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