Curated: Black & White SummerJuly 07, 2015
Summer. I never thought it would get here. Summer in the South had a slow start this year, barely inching into the upper 80's and mid-90's by the middle of June. If you're from the South you'll know that this is practically unheard of since one typically starts sweating immediately upon entering the outdoors come early May. Maybe it was the two weeks of non-stop rain or maybe it was the lingering aftermath of a particularly cold and unshakeable winter, but summer seemed somewhat stalled this year.
Summer is my favorite season. There's just something so familiar and comforting about it that I can't quite place my finger on. Mostly, it reminds me of adolescence and freedom. I remember feeling most like myself among the blades of freshly cut grass and blaring sun. I equally love and detest the suffocating humidity because it reminds me of jumping on hot-topped trampolines and peaking over the quiet wooden fences of suburbia. The whole neighborhood expanded before me between each bounce.
When I think about summer, I feel the days stretch out around me long and proud and I felt sorry for those who couldn't experience the length of the day in the way I could. I felt sorry for those people (people like me now) who were stuffed in cubicles in over air conditioned offices. I remember running and playing with my dog and taking pictures of everything. I remember hot concrete and park swings and day camp. I remember the smell of skin after a fresh tan. I think about the chemical-rich smell of chlorine that ignited something in me and freezing turquoise pool water. I think about sticky hands from melted ice-cream and cherry red tongues, a product of excessive popsicle consumption. I think about the smokey discharge from the grill and the warm smell of hot dogs and burgers wafting through the air. I think about throwing the softball with my Dad day in and day out and the smells of sweat and the leather on my mitt. Summer reminds me of falling in love with my hometown and myself.
This summer feels so different from the rest for a lot of reasons. Firstly, I'm not at home (and by home, I mean my childhood home). I'm living and working on my own full time instead of finishing a long semester and hiding out in old haunts, shying away from both a long forgotten and an uncomfortably pending school year on either side of me.
It's also different because there is no grand beach vacation to ready myself for like every other year. This summer there will be no gritty white sand and no perfect blue ocean to lose myself in for days at a time. There will be no lush palm tree foliage or bright colored residences lining the sandy drive near our rental. There will be no dinner at our favorite local spot and no sunsets on the porch, drink in hand. Though I'm somewhat sad about losing this tradition (if only temporarily), I'm finding myself focusing on the small victories this summer may bring me.
I need to find a way to recapture summer as an adult. So, I'm looking forward to weekend trips and weekends by the pool. I'm reminding myself to take my camera out more and to actually feel the heat (it's so hard not to retreat from air conditioned building to air conditioned car to air conditioned building again). I'm finding myself looking forward to snow cones and late night ice-cream runs for the rest of the summer. I'm reminding myself to enjoy fresh produce and the extended day light hours. I'm trying to make it a priority that I actually get out and experience things. The chore of experiencing things seems like so much more now. However, I know that enjoying and experiencing my version of summer is deep-seeded building block in my happiness.
Here's to good summer vibes from here on out!
What are your favorite things/memories about summer? Also, how are you enjoying your summer? Let me know! I'd love fun suggestions for things to do!
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