Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What summer is

Blackie Spit, Crescent Beach, B.C.
You wake up early in the morning and the window is open gently blowing the curtains with a cool breeze. The sun is already up and it’s very quiet.

You open all the doors and windows and let the breeze cool the house down. The breeze is the definition of “breeze”: just gentle and quiet enough to flow through and air the house out.

You eat delicious fresh fruit for breakfast and drink fresh squeezed orange juice.

There are fresh cherries and raspberries and strawberries and oranges and bananas at your fingertips.

Around noon you close all the doors and windows and shut the blinds and curtains shutting out the noise and heat outside. In the distance you can hear the muffled sounds of children running through sprinklers and the tinkling music of the ice cream truck.

You hang your laundry outside to dry. When you bring it in at the end of the day it smells of hot breeze, the baking sun, fresh cotton, gold, and sunflowers.

You go to the beach or the pool and lay outside until it’s so hot you can’t stand it and the sweat runs around to the back of your neck so you jump in the water and play around long enough to get cold so you get out and lay on the ground and let the sun warm you up again until you can’t stand it any more. Repeat.
Kihei beach, Maui, HI

The heat is a deep, penetrating, soothing heat that goes right through to your bones. It makes your muscles completely relaxed and at ease. You feel all elastic. It’s like sitting in a sauna in the most relaxing, peaceful way.

When it rains, no one complains.

Your toenails are painted.

You grill something and you eat salad and corn on the cob. You eat watermelon for dessert.

At the end of the day the shadows are long and look like photography from the seventies.  The sun sets and casts a liquid glow on everything. You put something light and cotton on over your swimsuit which you have been wearing all afternoon. The feeling on your hot skin is fresh and you feel like your skin is breathing in the scent.

The smell of Noxema.

The Pina Colata smell of sunscreen.

You have a bonfire on the beach or in your backyard and maybe you eat ice cream cones or maybe you roast marshmallows or maybe you don’t. You lay on the sidewalk or driveway or basketball court that has been roasting in the sun all day warming your back and making patterns out of the stars whose constellations you don’t know.

It’s cool enough to wear a sweater, but warm enough for shorts and flip-flops.
Franklin Covey Field, home of the Salt Lake Bees

You stay up late. You go for walks on the boardwalk, the beach, the pier, along the path to the beach. You rarely wear shoes. You hardly wear anything more than your bathing suit. You never have to take a bath because you’ve been in water for a good portion of the day. Walking barefoot is a natural exfoliant. Your skin is darker and your hair is lighter and you have a smattering of freckles across your nose.

The Drive-in is open and you go in a huge group to the all nighters where they play three movies and you play Frisbee and hang out at the snack bar and maybe see one of the movies and go from car to car chatting with your friends and flirting with boys. You can wear your jammies and no one cares.

Day or night you can lay in the backyard on your grama’s old quilt and close your eyes and know everything that’s going on around you just by listening.

There are Creamsicles and Fudgesicles and Drum Sticks and Ice Cream Sandwiches.

You drive with the window open at night (or the top down if you’re lucky) and you can feel the air.

Even the air is sunkissed.

Nothing feels heavy.

There is no school, and there is camping in the backyard.
Water Park, Provo UT

There is no place to go and nothing to do and no schedule and you eat when you’re hungry and there’s always lemonade.

There is getting together with your family and going away on vacation and road trips and going into the mountains and camping where you don’t bathe for a week and you’re so happy to come home to your own bed.

There is time to write in your journal and sketch and read and read some more.

There is the heart break from breaking up with your school boyfriend because you know you won’t be able to see him over the summer and the anticipation and excitement of the summer love that you met on the beach. There is the freedom of knowing that it’s just for the summer and not forever so you don’t have to take yourself so seriously.

You always look your best in the summer.

There are roller coasters and summer fairs and open markets.

Everything is green leaves backlit by the sun and warm grass and hot sand and blue sky with fluffy clouds.
Ke'e Beach, Kauai, HI

When summer is like this, summer is the best time of the year. I always lived for summer and was at my happiest in summer. My relationship with summer has changed so much since I moved to Utah that I feel like we’ve broken up and my heart hurts.

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