That last verse is interesting when contrasted against the last verse of "Every Grain of Sand
," which is the final song on Shot of Love
, appearing two songs after "In the Summertime."
"Every Grain of Sand" ends:I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there's someone there, other times it's only me
It's essentially the same notion but portrayed in two different lights. Dylan knows only gratitude and continued faith even in the absence of Christ in "In The Summertime." In contrast, in "Every Grain Of Sand," the absence of Christ and/or God is haunting and uncertain. It leaves us wondering if that divine presence was ever actually real at all. There is no such doubt in "In The Summertime."
Whether this contrast ever occurred to Dylan is unknown. Most likely he wrote each song in different moods and with different intents, the same way our love for a person can seem nothing but bright one day and then nothing but jealousy and trepidation the next.