As a child, I defined the beginning of each new year as the beginning of each school year. January? pfft. Every kid knows that the real first month of the year is September.
As an adult, my thinking is still very much along those lines. During the school year it seems that every. single. minute. is scheduled. Homework, practices, school functions, ball games,errands to run… Summer makes all of that calendaring screech to a halt.
Everyone looks forward to summer vacations, trips to the beach, cookouts. I’ve never met anyone that says, “No way, I hate summer and all of that slowed pace….”
For me, most of the truly wonderful things about summer are sensory. You can’t get them at any other time of year:
- Summer mornings, when the air is not cool, not warm, not moving. Everything is so still and perfect it feels like nothing is touching you, yet you’re immersed in everything.
- The smell of freshly mowed grass.
- The warm, orangey glow that filters through closed eyelids while laying in the sun.
- The feel of the warm concrete, baking beneath you as you lie on your towel, wet from the pool. (This is also when you’re most cognizant of the sound of planes flying overhead and they can almost lull you to sleep.)
- The smell of your neighbor’s BBQ, which always seems to smell better than whatever you’re having for dinner…
- The sound of waves crashing on the beach and the seagulls calling to each other.
- The sound of crickets. (As long as they’re outside…)
- When you look towards the West at dusk; the way trees are in black silhouette against that periwinkle blue color.
- Sand between toes.
- The smell of sunblock and chlorine.
Of course I love ice cream and fresh fruit and fire works and…. all the trappings of summer. But for me, those things wouldn’t be as wonderful without this sensory soundtrack to go along with them.