Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out. ~Deb Caletti
Today is the first day of summer. As a tribute to the Summer Solstice, I’d like to take you with me as I think back and remember some of my childhood summer activities. As you read my list, take a minute to think back on your own summertime memories.
My favorite summer activity was going to the pool. I’d have to make sure to have lunch eaten by noon so I could be in the water the minute the pool opened at 1 p.m. You remember that rule about waiting an hour after eating before getting in the water? As I think back to those hot summer afternoons, I see myself sitting impatiently watching the minutes tick by on the round black framed clock on the wall of the bath house–jumping up as soon as my time was up.
Lucky for me, none of my other summer interests involved time restrictions. These are some of the ways I remember spending summer days:
Hide-n-seek, kick the can, tag, croquet, badminton, tree climbing, setting out to explore other neighborhoods, bike rides and learning–sometimes very unsuccessfully–how to use handle brakes, playing catch, softball, swinging, shooting baskets and H-O-R-S-E, hopscotch, fishing with Dad, summer Catechism, going barefoot, catching lightning bugs and putting them in mayonnaise jars so you can have them in your bedroom at night, sunburns, seeing the Coppertone commercials and using “suntan lotion” for the first time, green hair from the pool chlorine, the smell of Lilacs, warm rain, puddles, shooting stars, watermelon, sweet corn, church ice cream socials and homemade ice cream, wet dogs and wet dog smell, tornado warnings and tornadoes, fresh garden vegetables, homegrown tomatoes, discovering the world of books, and wondering who I’d have as a teacher when school started again.
Although my sisters and I usually stayed busy, I know a daily question for Mom was what could we do because we were so bored?
Oh…to be so bored today!
“We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past, like ancient stars that have burned out, are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about every day, too many new things we have to learn. New styles, new information, new technology, new terminology … But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore