Kissing Summer Air

When I first contemplate summer, I think of the heat, the humidity. I think of lightning bugs and star gazing and expansive cornfields (don't judge me; I'm an Iowegian). I think of my cousin's softball games, the V-shaped tan my flip-flops tattoo across my feet. I think of coasting through the water at lakes, rivers. I think of jazz music, bikinis, primary-colored skirts. The sparkling water in pools. I think of ice cream socials, fruit smoothies, tank tops, shaven legs, plane rides, days at the beach, umbrellas, thunderstorms and sweaty, sleepless nights. There is freshly mowed grass and the cold shower that follows yard word. There are even cook-outs, S'mores, sandals, sandwiches and designer sunglasses.

When I was younger, I would spend several hours at the city's pool each day, browning my skin and challenging my best friend to diving contests. In the evening, I would shower the chlorine from my dark ringlets and admire the stark line between tan and swimsuit.

There is no longer a city pool; it was bulldozed and filled in last year. There isn't as much time for backyard barbeques as I would like, and my brother's upcoming wedding makes me frightened of tan lines.

Summer, like childhood, used to be so innocent. I wish I could light another sparkler and dance among the fireflies. I fear the girl who once dug sand castle cities and played softball in her neighbor's backyard has fallen in the corn, forgotten. Thank goodness for the certain things:

Road trips, or even easy travel;

cutesy, flowery dresses;

white, eclectic, vintage-themed weddings;

rhythmic, consuming bodies of water;

fresh produce straight from the garden;

fresh, sweet, delicious fruit;

campfires and outside explorations;

days (and nights) at the beach;


outdoor adventures and vacations in places the feature "real" fresh air;

and miniature, soul-illuminating fireworks.

I can't believe that it's mid-July already.


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