Solitude departs in the summer

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  Craigville Beach, on Cape Cod.

Craigville Beach, on Cape Cod.

“The yellow dunes squat in the sun, defending the white sands against aliens from the interior: Beach grass, sparse and straggling but sharp as knife, bristles on the frontier. But the sea glitters and calls, the invasion mounts, paths break through the dunes and the soft sands fall under human occupation. Thoreau saw the great beach of Cape Cod in its boundless innocence. ‘The solitude,’ he wrote, ‘was that of the ocean and the desert combined.’ Today, at least in the genial months, the beach more closely resembles Grand Central Station.’’i

-- From 'The Dash and Roar of Infinity,'' an essay by the late historian and presidential adviser Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in Arthur Griffin's New England: The Four Seasons.