Photostory #446: The Tranquil Summer
Photographers, , , , , ,
National Film Board of Canada
July 4, 1967
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
When the long hot summer spreads its deep warmth across the broad regions of Canada's farmland, forest, lake and hillside then is the time for a lazy period of close communing with the sweet earth. Away from the crowded, man-made attractions of organized vacation centres, down the highways and byways, are the places where childhood memories are made for future years and the magic recollections of youth regained. Here, the border between reality and whimsy becomes wispy and tenuous in the pure atmosphere of nature in all its peaceful being. Folk tales find easy acceptance to young ears and older alike. Old farmers' prognostications of the weather take on scientific sureness, a copper band worn on ankle or wrist to protect from rheumatism appears to have some value and a trout kept down the family well for a decade past, to keep the water clean, seems a normal engineering precaution. Along the sea coasts, weathered dorymen recount sightings of ghost ships, seen offshore in the moonlight's gleam, and give serious practical unsyndicated advice to the lovelorn that slick newspaper columnists have never known. Inland, bordering the deep woods and the remoter northern hinterland, tales are told of the savage beings that live in the solitude guarding Aladdin-like caves of natural riches hidden in the rugged fastnesses. Even in suburban security, children whisper together of bears and dinosaurs lurking in nearby vacant lots while their fathers, lolling in the heavy shade of ornamental trees, dream of past and coming deeds of intrepid derring-do along distant wilderness streams with fishing rod in hand. The thick scent of heavy, deep-green summer casts its strange spell over all who breath it full and nowhere is its spell more potent than across the face of Canada where summer comes afresh each year to a land defrosted whistle clean.