We all have certain things which make us feel happier, content, less stressed, and wanting to claim more from life. For some, it’s the smoothness of silk against their skin, the adoring face of a puppy, a friendly encounter, a child’s laughter, or the sensuality of a lovers kiss. True, all these things can bring a huge smile to ones face and they definitely do mine, but I’ve also learned that weather can have a humongous impact on an individual’s emotional outlook, giving many a needed boost after the depressing effects of grey skies among bone-chilled winters. And for me, and many others, the warmth of summertime has always been natures aphrodisiac.
I’ve loved summer ever since I was a kid, and each year I count off the months till the feel of long days and steamy nights caresses my bones and moistens my skin. When I was young, it was that wonderful period each year away from school, when carefree mornings, powdery salmon sunsets, camping in the backyard, and staying up late watching nighttime movies became a way of life. Shorts and swimsuits, the chirping of crickets outside my window, the scent of suntan lotion, going to Six Flags, picnics in a park, cooling off at the neighborhood pool, July 4th fireworks, baseball games, and family vacations also come to mind. During summer, food always tasted better, the air cleaner, the feeling of green grass rubbing my feet, and sound of bicycle wheels carrying me to friend’s homes in the midst of lazy days kept me cheerful, happy, and wishing it would never end.
I was born in August. Some often say that a person’s birth month has a lot to do with their favorite season. This must be true, because I’ve always wished the summer sun would never set, that waxing moons and warm waters of the local lakes could freeze in time, and laughter of children jumping into swimming pools could echo forever.
Most of the good things in my life have always happened from June till August. My first job (a paper route) which helped me earn enough to buy my first car started one year during summer break. Family trips to majestic Yellowstone, the rugged Rocky Mountains, the historic architecture of Washington D.C., and salty air of Galveston Island came while balmy temperatures and tropical breezes rustled through my hair. After finishing high school many years ago, my graduation gift was a group trip to Hawaii where I met one of my best friends, who I still see often. Summertime is also when I’ve always meet some of the most amazing women, fallen in love, learned to scuba dive and water ski, scaled the mountain peaks of a rain forest, piloted an airplane for the first time, bought my first Harley Davidson, and written a novel.
To me, summer represents life. It’s when animals come out to play, there’s optimism and the fragrance of a million blooming plants and trees filling the air, people freely walk around in various stages of undress-- their pasty legs and arms exposed to the sun and heat. Upon leaving our workplaces, there are still hours of daylight in which to frolic, drink, eat alfresco, take in outdoor concerts, and make use of colorful shorts and sandals, exposing our bare, weakened limbs to the world again. There’s light to be sponged up by our winter-soft parts, sun to freckle our shoulders and noses making us noticeably joyful. There are parks to sit in, outdoor concerts and venues to explore, frozen drinks to consume. It’s life at it finest, a few months of recess for weary adults. And it’s now, only the beginning of June.
To help express, allow me to share some wonderful quotes:
Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.—Russell Baker
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer—Albert Camus
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~Celia Thaxter
The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~Wallace Stevens
In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams
The spirit of summer is a gift to us all; embrace everything it has to offer. Make use of its relaxed attitude by burying your toes in a sandy beach, begin a passionate relationship or rekindle an existing one, spend lots of time with your kids, travel among your local scenery, eat outdoors often, and take up those sports again you learned while young.
Summer is a brief period each year, go out and capture its magical essence.