By Ken DeLaat
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald “The Great Gatsby”
What is it about summer that seems to wash away troubles and spread a little slowdown on the landscape? And I do mean summer since those wonderful spring days we enjoyed after winter actually amounted to what seemed like a few hours and here we are with a stretch of 80+ days and without having even sniffed June yet.
Maybe as Fitz opines in Gatsby, summer brings with it a new beginning. From the reappearance of green and the many colors in the floral explosion occurring daily there is a freshness to it. A little reprieve in what can often seem a difficult life.
Struggles can be easily put aside when reclining on a warm patch of grass listening to the murmur of a river or creek. To stick one’s toes in a patch of lake water and feel its coolness contrast with summer heat is to be momentarily released from worry.
And rain. Who among us cannot forgive rain when it comes to interrupt the task of the summer sun? After all it brings life and refreshment wherever it lands, it’s generally warm and it is always temporary.
Summer days seem to indeed occupy a large majority of the best ones in memory. When my thoughts are temporarily transported back to childhood there exists the occasional Christmas scene or a school-related fragment or two floating about, but the bank is filled with deposits made in the summer. Those lengthy days of relative idleness when each day could bring a new adventure with friends, a sandlot ballgame or two, and hours spent sitting about in trees, on swings or alongside porches doing absolutely nothing. The ideal segment of life when one can be freed from educational obligations and yet remains too young to be tackling any real job other than the occasional lawn mowing.
Like her sister seasons summer can have its shortfalls. It might be too hot for a spell here and there and there’s that mosquito thing that can drive one inside in lieu of a dousing of Deet.
But there is a magic when it comes to this season.
It may be a memory driven mindset with no basis in reality. After all with few exceptions our busy lives rarely slow down despite these gifts of meteorological gems being delivered to us nearly every day. Those mornings of waking and wondering what adventures might lie ahead take on a decidedly different tone when you’re no longer in those treasured early years.
However with even the tiniest effort one can find it possible to put all that reality aside from time to time. To take a moment and drink it the richness of summer and all its glory.
And when you do?
A little slice of that magic returns.
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