50 Stories, Week 16: Ode to Summer

Oh, summer!

I ate your nectarine that spilled across my hand, almost too sweet to finish. I resisted the urge to buy all of your dark cherries. I used your fresh watermelon juice for my margarita. It reminded me of the huge watermelon boats my mother used to make for our family cookouts. Helping her carve and fill them made me feel useful.

I heard the sound of your ice cream truck and almost opened the cabinet to look for change in the old Campbell’s soup mug. I would have ordered my usual – the red, white and blue starpop with bubblegum on top or a watermelon Italian ice.

Only moments ago, outside, I felt your heat on my skin and chided myself for forgetting to apply sunblock. The cherry tomatoes I am starting to grow remind me of my father’s tiny garden and I am full of gratitude, despite the squirrels who continue to vex me. 

Your heat is both comforting and oppressive. I loathe the constant flow of cool air inside but when I am outside too long, I wither.

I feel you deeply, summer, and yet I miss you already…or do I miss the imprint of you on my memory?  

I miss singing into my bedroom fan so I can hear the vibration of my voice returning to me. 

I miss attempting to keep my fried dough sand-free at the beach. I miss the smell of chlorine from the public pool and the sensation of my feet burning from the steaming pavement. 

I miss walking to the convenience store to buy Fun Dip or Razzle Dazzles or Pop Rocks, and coming home with stained fingers. I miss playing Zim Zam and riding bikes around the cul-de-sac.

I miss running the hose and flooding the grass, even though my father told me to stop, because I am washing away the ants marching toward me. I even miss wearing my bathing suit all day, sitting in its wetness, too lazy to take it off because I might go through the sprinkler again.

I do not miss the year I went to summer camp and my parents had to come get me three days later because I got swimmer’s ear. No, that was painful physically and also felt like a personal failure – that somehow I couldn’t endure it. Though, I did love those three days beforehand of playing games, eating s’mores, learning archery, and falling in love with my counselor.

Oh, summer. Our days are limited, yours and mine.

So, I will relish my sun-kissed skin and the occasional breeze you provide, hanging on as long as I can.

Adolescence Memory Nostalgia Perspective Summer Writing

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