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Hot time



Summer is suddenly here. There was no graceful transition, no gradual climb in temperature.

One day, without warning, even the lightest-weight winter clothes felt oppressively heavy; they seemed to peel themselves off our bodies, jumping into rumpled heaps on the floor. One bright morning the bedroom window sashes silently screamed to be pushed up and breathed a loud sigh of relief when they were. Yellow light poured through the open front door, suspending soft particles of dust and an eager mosquito.

Kicking off our shoes and stepping on to the back porch, we turned our faces up to the sun and relaxed into our favorite season. We made a pitcher of lemonade. We drank it and rocked and talked and listened.

In the evenings, shadows don't cross the yard until later, but the smell of freshly mown grass does. The cats crouch in the long grass, from time to time pouncing on each other or some ill-fated creature smaller than they. They roll in the driveway's gravel and dust and purr wildly when we rub their offered bellies.

We still have to go to work every day. We have never fully recovered from the horrible disillusionment suffered when we first realized, years and years ago, that the real world didn't offer three-month breaks. We'd grown up taking those three months for granted. It seemed only natural and right to reserve a solid chunk of the year--the best chunk--for exploring creeks, splashing in the neighborhood pool and organizing kickball tournaments.

If we're no longer so angry about that broken promise, maybe it's because even without a reprieve from our parental and workplace duties--from all that stifling grown-up stuff--summertime is a luxurious indulgence, a glorious immersion in the senses that somehow still makes us free.

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