Summer Living

Summer is so close I can nearly taste it. When I was a kid I didn’t mind that summer took so long to arrive, because once it got here it seemed to last forever and ever. How much fun and thrill of life I could discover in that period of ninety days.

Even now, when I think back to that time, I’m pretty sure that I lived out ninety percent of my life before I was ten years old. By “lived out” I mean dwelling in a pure, raw, unadulterated, unfiltered, sensual experience with the world. A philosopher’s dream, I suppose.

It would mean living an existence where I understood leaves and clouds, but not Eisenhower’s speeches; frogs and dandelions, but not McCarthyism; walnut trees and wild blackberry bushes, but not the steepled buildings where sad-looking people spoke of another world; striped snakes and agates along the river bank, but not the Korean War; dragonflies and smell of summer rain, but nothing of racism and violence.

It would be so nice to go back and re-live a few of those days in just the state of mind I then possessed, with all my summer friends. Everything I now know would have to be forgotten to take bring me back there, but I’m not so sure I would be missing much.

For the length of a few of those lost summer days, I would once again find myself filled with delight in the tiniest of wonders, and maybe understand more about what it means to be alive than I do now. When was the last time I examined pollen on a bee’s legs?

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