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?

10 comments:

Chancy said...

Your brought back many pleasant memories of the barefoot days of summers long passed.

Val said...

How lovely to go back in time with you - it sounds a world away from my childhood living on a busy street in London.

Perhaps I am now trying to recreate the experience by living in the country now. And perhaps I gave my kids the gift of the country/small town childhood I never had, of owning ponies and messing about in streams.

I shall dedicate tomorrow, Saturday, to that frame of childlike enjoyment of simple pleasures! Thanks for the reminder, Tabor/

Tammy said...

Wow Tabor, you took me right back to those wonderful summer memories. Wonderful writing girl!

I know nothing about what blooms when but things have sped up here from last year.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Nice paean to youth, Tabor

kenju said...

Yep, nice memories! And I do think it is caused by global warming! Lot6sd of things are blooming sooner than usual and growing further north than ever before.

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Lovely memories, Tabor! You write so well! I also love the photo!

Anna said...

I love this piece, it transmits the wonderful lightness of being young.

Further down, you express doubts about retirement - please embrace its wonders. What you point out here, being removed by work from nature and the changing seasons, is one of the greatest freedoms that you will recover by it.

I am so pleased to find you and I thank you for your link to my pages.

Kerri said...

It's such a delight to look back and remember the bike rides and swimming holes, early morning walks in the woods. The curiosity and carefree days of youth is a wonderful thing to remember.
You did an excellent job putting it "on paper" so to speak :)

colleen said...

Wonderful images that make me nostalgic too. But my feet are still dirty like that as I go barefoot half the time and am in the garden a lot.

Tabor said...

Thanks all for the nice comments. Isn't it amazing how a few good words on a blogpost at the end of the day are like three nights in a spa?