Tuesday, July 13, 2010
What Would Summer Be Without...
...sundresses like bright bouquets; strappy sandals; better yet, bare feet that leave dark prints in the morning dew; straw hats with streamers; afternoons of croquet on the lawn, or bocce, or badminton; a hammock strung between two shade trees; a stack of books and a rainy day.
Crickets fiddling away the sunny hours, bullfrogs giving concerts in the pond, birds piping up the dawn, wind whispering secrets to the leaves, the hum and zum of bees, the lazy drone of a plane on a quiet afternoon.
Corn on the cob; berries – blue ones, red ones, black ones; ice cream floats and lemonade; the first zucchini; green and yellow string beans straight from the garden; bread and butter and radish sandwiches; tomatoes on the vine; shrimp on the BBQ – anything on the BBQ, for that matter; picnic food heaped on plastic divided plates and iced tea in tall, brightly colored metal tumblers.
Sand between your toes, so hot that you have to hop and skip to the water’s edge; children's shouts barely heard above the pounding surf; sunsets in shades of crimson and rose; twilight; stars that light up the night sky, and a big yellow moon as round as a dinner plate; skinny dipping after dark.
Storms that come on the heels of a hot spell, all thundery and full of zigzaggy lightning, and the cool spells that follow them; the fresh smell of wet earth and the drip, drip of rain drops on leaves; the fun of puddle jumping; the sweeping splendor of a rainbow.
Summer cottages all musty and damp until you open the doors and windows and let the sea breeze blow through; week-long games of monopoly and a rowdy, loud card game called Spoons that wrecks your fingernails and the silverware in one swift movement; the feel of salt drying on your face after a day at the ocean; the smell of tanning oil and seaweed as the sun and the breaking waves lull you to sleep; the call of gulls high over the water; the jingle jangle of coins in your pocket as you run after the ice cream truck.
Watermelon and honeydew melon and cool orange slices of musk melon; popsicles that drip down your arm, and scoops of ice cream that wilt and melt and puddle in the cone before you can lick them up; jars of soap bubbles; cotton candy; fairs and circuses, and carnivals full of screaming kids; amusement park rides that whirl you up and out and around; old drive-in theaters where everyone flocks to watch scratchy-screened movies and wallow in nostalgia; fireflies at dusk.
Outdoor concerts where the music seems to gather up the sky and the grass and the listeners into an exultation of sound; flea markets full of unexpected treasures; plane rides and train rides and car trips that deposit us in places we’ve never been or return us to places we’ve always loved.
What would we be without summer?