End of the Week Essay // On Summer

I get it.  I know that we need the winter to make spring and summer seem even sweeter.  To make us appreciate the budding blooms, that warm breeze, and the sun on our skin.  I get it.

But here's the thing - I already appreciate all those things immensely.  When it's 90 degrees with 300% humidity here in the DC swampland, I relish it.  I ask for more.  More sun, more heat, more sweat dripping off my skin.  Complaints are not uttered from this mouth.  I take summer in, whole, and hold it inside me, squeezing every last drop out of it.

Growing up, my mother molded me into the perfect beach bum.  We spent summers (well, two weeks at a time in rentals until my grandparents bought their place in '92) in Maine and all day, every day on the beach.  She instilled all those summer lessons in me.  Too hot? Get in the water.  Shivering and blue-lipped from the waves?  Bake in the sun, sandwiched between two towels.  Sun getting to you?  Lay in the shade that your mother's beach chair makes.  Sunscreen, sunscreen, reapply, reapply.

Those are still some of my favorite childhood memories.  Watching my grandmother and her friends swim, careful not to get their hair wet.  Listening to Dave Matthews coming from the boombox of my aunt and her crew.  Playing "Don't Touch the Water" with my cousins.  Learning to swim by having my uncles launch me in the water over my head.  My dad's late afternoon appearance on the beach, in sneakers and long pants.  My whole clan's chairs making a giant circle, or semi-circle depending on the tide, in the sand.

But summer is fleeting.  It ends (unless you move to Miami, which I did for a year.  That was great).  The temperature drops, the leaves change color, the sun fades.  It becomes a memory, one you have to hold onto through these cold, unforgiving months.  Until finally, somehow surprisingly every time, it returns in all its glory.  I patiently wait for that day.

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  1. I live near the best and man I feel you! Summer needs to get here, NOW!


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