Thursday, June 21, 2007
The Longest Day
I can remember a long time ago when the start of summer meant sleeping late and then moving to the hammock outside on the lawn, still in my pajamas, with the first book from the top of the pile that I brought home from the library in my hand. And then I was lost for the rest of the morning in another world until my mother's patience wore thin and she had me doing errands or ironing or cleaning.
I miss the fresh joy of youth. The kick-up-the-heels giggle at long warm days at the small town swimming pool. I miss the bookmobile that stopped at the end of the road and, like a metal wrapped present with smells of musty paper, offered adventure and travel and more laughter. I miss the energy of chasing after the ice cream truck and licking creamy hands as the ice cream in the cones melted faster than could be consumed.
Feet were always dusty and dirty no matter how much we swam or bathed. We never wore shoes. Bikes were for racing and getting a cool breeze going in your face and then hitting the top of the hill and putting your feet up on the handle bars and coasting down the long road on the other side.
If there was errand money, I could spend the afternoon in the cool darkness of the movie theater, and then after the movie ended and the credits rolled being totally disoriented emerging in the bright light and heat of the day feeling as if I had just landed on some alien planet.
Now I only notice the details of the season in passing. I spend most of my time in a climate controlled office and hear the complaints of others about the heat. Here it is the first day of summer and the crepe myrtles are starting to bloom! They used to be the late July flowers. They were what I planted for late summer color when all the other plants had wilted or dried under the intense heat. Is this global warming? Or just because I live in the micro-climate of the city. Or am I just being forgetful?