Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fireflies By Moonlight

Summer is a wonderful thing. 

Summer is full of  a warmth the type of warmth which goes beyond heat on skin - it's the type that alights all that is wonderful with the world.  Summer is freedom.  It's a break, no matter how short, from the harshness and coldness of the real world.  It's beaches and lounge chairs and cold drinks sipped from frosted glass mugs and filled with crushed ice, lime slices and love. 

Summer is freedom in the eyes of children. And aren't we all just children hiding in big people's clothes?


The day was hot and humid and fun.  The pool, as always, perfect.  The yard always decored with perfectly green, manicured lawns, shrubs cut with military precision and trees swaying in the slight breeze, filtering in the perfect combination of sun and shade.  Tiki torches stand at attention, waiting for active duty once nightfall comes.

The usual crowd is there. We are a self contained unit.  (We.  I get chills every time I think of myself as part of a "we". Whether it is David and I or my new social circle, I am now part of a we)  David's friends and their significant others - some permanent, some ever changing (ah these girlfriends, they come and they go), but always part of the group.  If you are in, you are in, even if just for a little while.  (Full acceptance, another perk of "we".)

There are all the ingredients which make summer - the perfect blue-ness of the water, the cold drinks, the barbeque smoking and smelling of grilled meat.  But there is another sensation in play - the sounds of friendship.  Of poor A, the group's whipping boy, getting ripped on for one thing or another.  B, the comedian of the group, breaking everyone up. Happy screams and pool splashes.  The sounds of a perfect summer's day.  Paper plates filled with cole slaw and fries, dogs and burgers, and even greens for us women folk.

As evening falls, we build a fire and sit around it, drinking (more) beer and lounging in chairs.  Jen gives out a happy yelp type noise as the first firefly illuminates the night.  She even tries giving it chase.  And suddenly they are everywhere, little flashes of yellow light suddenly there, then just as suddenly gone.  And there we are, grown ups, just staring at nature's little light show in wonder - all of us suddenly eight years old again (or some of us for the first time).

After a while, the wind shifts and starts blowing hard from the west.  The tempertaure suddenly dips and broken branches make their way across the lawn.  We are inside as the first of the drops dimples the pool's surface.  Within minutes the clouds break full bore and it's raining harder than I've seen it come down.

 I've always been entranced by the weather.

I fall asleep in the car on the short ride home.  I don't know if it was too much sun, too much beer or just too much.  Either way, it doesn't matter.  David gently shakes me awake when we are at the lot, and I'm in bed, asleep before ten (and for anyone who knows me, they get what a big deal that is).


Sleep.  wonderful, blessed sleep.  Once a stranger to me.  Now my new best friend.  Wow, what I've been missing.  What you all take so for granted.  Precious, beautiful sleep.

On this Sunday night, my new friend stays with me, dreamless and comforting, for almost 12 full hours.  By the time I have gotten up, David is gone and sunlight patterns the wall through the shade. 

I get up, get dressed and walk to a local coffee shop, book in hand.  I want to be out and about, sipping on a latte and letting the magic continue one more day.  I smile at strangers walking dogs and wave as a little blond girl in a green sundress walks by, holding her mother's hand and soaking in summer too.

I am home.   I am happy.  Summer is here once again.