Summer, Travel, and Places of Enchantment

Debby Zigenis-Lowery's Literate Lives: Summer, Travel, Places of Enchantment

I love this Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ quote. What is life, what is summer, without moments and places of enchantment?

Last week I had the opportunity to go on a road trip with my husband. (He is an awesome road trip pilot, ready and willing to stop anywhere interesting or necessary, plus he is a fantastic photographer.)

We traveled from Reno, Nevada, to Sonora California, to Eureka California, through the state and national coastal redwood parks, then home.

Summer Isn’t Summer Without Places of Enchantment

For me, there are several requirements that must be satisfied for me to feel like I have actually experienced summer.

  1. Fireworks: satisfied on the 4th of July
  2. Sitting beside a rushing river or gurgling stream: satisfied last week with a little stop alongside the Waller River. We did some rock-hopping (what I used to call it, now it’s more like scrambling and balancing after my recent health set-backs), rock-gathering–“Come see this!” “Oh, isn’t this one beautiful!”, and lastly, just sitting with my feet in the cold water, listening to the river’s roar. Ah, peace.
  3. Walking in the forest: also satisfied last week as we made stops to amble in the beautiful California coastal redwood groves. They are so majestic, huge, and old! It really puts our little lives in perspective. We even had the pleasure of enjoying some mysterious morning fog!

The Literate Lives Joys of Road Tripping

Road tripping is fun, renewing, and feeds my imagination.

As we drive, I collect names for places mostly, but as my husband and I joke and engage in wordplay, for characters as well.

Road tripping refills my “landscape well,” providing me with a reminder of the wider range of settings available to draw on when writing, and the links between settings and names.

And, road tripping can inspire actual scenes and stories. Don’t be surprised someday if one of my future projects includes a love smitten gold miner and the glacial object of his affection!

Summer’s End

A week into August, I can accept that, like every year in the past, summer will end, and I can be at peace with that knowledge thanks to mine and my husband’s summer wanderings and savoring of places of enchantment.

Your Turn

  • What does it take for you to feel you have experienced summer?
  • How does travel fuel your literate lifestyle?
  • How do places of enchantment feed your soul?

 Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts. I love to hear from you!


In Praise of a Good Man: One Writer’s Companion

wooded path 7.13My husband is a good man. Traveling with him is such a pleasure. Our camping trip to Mt. Rainier provides numerous examples. Among the many, many things he does that make me appreciate him so:

He lugs all the stuff out to the van (and back in when we get home), including my crate of books, drawing materials, tablet–the electronic kind, and journals.

He is a wonder at setting up camp, tying knots, building a cozy nest for us to sleep in, creating a canopy when it rains, building fires, and all other forms of activity that make “roughing it” a pleasure.

When we hike, he is patient with my constantly stopping to take notes or capture an observation or turn of phrase every hundred feet, every fifty feet, and even at intervals of every ten feet.

He photographs the things I want to remember or am trying to describe.

He engages in wordplay with me and lets me use his phrases.

He joins me in crafting our own names for the natural features we see: Snaggle-Tooth for a rock formation that just down over the road, Party Hat Jr. for a mountain peak that reminded us of Party Hat (our name for the Grand Teton), Cliffhanger Highway–many of the roads through Mt. Rainier National Park, and The Fortress for a rock formation near the summit.

Knowing my sense of balance is definitely not one of my strengths, he always offers his hand for rail-less stairways, slippery slopes, or rough patches of trail.

He lugs the camera and the water, even if they are in my lavender and brown flowered back pack.

He picks up litter left by other hikers.

He mourns the graffiti on glacier-scraped rock.

He thanks God for the beauty of our surroundings, our adventures together, our food–even meager campfire rations, and me.

He is a joy to travel with and to be creative with. All he requires is supplies for a good cup of coffee in the morning, which he is more than willing to make himself.

How does your one-and-only support you and your writing life?