sweetness

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i think summer has come around to be my favorite season again.

i loved it as a kid, of course, because it meant three months of freedom and sunshine. some of my brightest moments from kidhood were summer afternoons with my best friend: we could fill an entire day with sewing clothes for our stuffed animals, scooping a ridiculous amount of ice cream into the blender to make milkshakes, inventing new hairstyles, watching horrible daytime tv, taking turns listening to simon and garfunkel on my walkman…

but some time in college, i came to dread summer. once late may rolled around, i had to confront the fact that i had lost touch with my old friends, and all my new ones would be at home for the break. instead of freedom, summer came to mean empty days in an un-air conditioned house, halfheartedly reading a book or watching reruns of trading spaces, if i was lucky. i recall one year i decided to strip all the wallpaper from my bedroom – using a spray bottle of vinegar and a scraper – and repaint the walls, just so i could have something to do. i learned a very handy home improvement technique, yes, and ended up with a very pretty blue bedroom, but i will also forever have mixed feelings towards the scent of hot vinegar.

these post-college years, i believe, have given summer back to me as my enchanted season. despite working at a school, i don’t have any extra time off, so it’s not about the leisure these days. it’s something else. there’s something to the sweetness of the air in the evening, and how the good weather changes everything. i can have the most trying, confusing day and still come home and sit outside in the light of dusk with a cold drink and my thoughts. that just couldn’t happen on a winter night. i suppose that’s what it is: summer offers some softness, some forgiveness at the end of every day. some space. and – whether i use that space to breathe and quietly try to regain my sanity, or to look up from a relaxed dinner with friends for a moment to notice the twinkly lights – it promises to be there.

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