Friday, August 10, 2012

The Summer of Childhood

I should be sleeping, as it will be all too soon that my sister is here to pick me up and off we will go to the camp where we spent our summers as kids, going on the weekends after Mom and Dad got out of work, and for a week when they took vacation in August. This weekend winds up my parent's week-long vacation, and my sister and I are again going to camp, this time with her daughter in tow, to enjoy the summers of our childhood.

We have the best seats in the house

I've been thinking a lot lately (unemployment gives me plenty of time to do that) and this summer has been, perhaps, the closest thing to a childhood summer for me, regardless of the fact that last summer was activity-filled. Summer to me is reading a mountain of books in the sultry heat, soft skin made slightly sticky with sweat and humidity. It's wearing tank tops and jean shorts and not putting on a pair of shoes unless you have to. It's constantly dirty feet. Summer is constantly wearing my hair in a ponytail because it's too damn hot to have long hair, and delighting in the feeling of my hair sweeping over bare arms and bare back. It's digging your toes in the dirt, in the grass, accidentally stepping on a slug with your bare feet and getting grass stuck to the bottoms. It's the itch and prickle of radish and turnip leaves, cucumber vines, the stink of tomato plants. It's stealing the green beans off the vines and eating them right there in the garden. Summer is heading outside at dusk when it's cooled off but the air is heavy with the fragrance of lilies, listening to the birds as they head to their nests at night; it's being up at dawn to listen to the wake with the sun.

And like tonight, it's heat lightning and thunder and finally a cool, refreshing, life-giving rain to fall on the sere, watering the garden, inviting the earthworms out of their homes. Summer is tipping up rocks to find worms for fishing, or more exciting, going out at night with flashlights to find nightcrawlers. Summer is going to camp. Slipping into the cool, soothing water of the lake when it's just too warm, laying on my back and watching the clouds and seeing the green blur of the trees through my myopic eyes.

I have felt so sublimely free this summer for being able to simply do the very basic and still enjoyable things I did as kid. I don't need water parks (I don't like the chlorination or the crowds) or beaches (overrated), I just want to run around in my bare feet, fingers sticky with found berries, and revel in the world around me... with a few dozen good books.

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