I have a certain melancholy about Summer as an adult. Just as a Friday brings awareness of the next Monday, the start of Summer leads down the path to Autumn. Death, decay and darkness.
I’m quite the buzz-kill, I know. I can’t help myself.
Maybe I romanticize Summer too much.
Growing up in an age of childhood freedom, inspired by the books of Mark Twain, I see summer in the hazy gauze of my memories. Oh how I miss those carefree adventures. Riding, running, swimming, playing ball, tag and cowboys and Indians. Cruising the roadsides and ditches for glass bottles to turn in at the local gas station for the nickel deposit to fund our snack habits. Riding to the pool and spending all day taking advantage of the summer pass that Dad bought. Building forts in the carcasses of trees knocked down by the latest storm. Building bike ramps from which we launched ourselves skyward. Trekking into the woods to that secret spot beside the stream from which we dug for crawdads, caught tadpoles and threw rocks at the water bugs. Chasing each other around the neighborhood with water guns and balloons. Slaking our thirst from any random garden hose, and then turning it on each other.
These days we dare not let our kids out of our sight. More for fear of being accused of being a bad parent than any real risk to our children, I suspect.
Now, all grown up, we drag ourselves from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned office. If we’re lucky we have a seat near a window in some ghastly glass and steel beast with windows that don’t open.
If we do venture outside we’re nagged and warned into a state of near panic about SPF’s, ticks and mosquitoes. Hell, maybe they’d be happier if we just stayed inside!
So cherish the long lazy days of Summer, there are only about 90 of them.
Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. – Mark Twain
Originally posted on Facebook Memorial Day 2010