I woke this morning, just as the sun was rising. Donned red running shoes and a spritz of sunscreen before scooting out the door to meet my Jess for a walk. We talked–as one tends to do–about this and that, finishing the topics up on that of summer. How the days are waning (already waning!) and what we need to do before the end of this blessed season to suck in all the right and proper experiences.
There are those, aren’t there? Right and proper summer experiences.
For one thing, there must be a single summer concert under the stars at Red Rocks. Something slow and jazzy. Something blissfully zen that inspires enlightenment and the deep, haunting echoes of unnameable nostalgia.
For another, there must be a decent day at the pool. I mean, sickly decent. One of those days where you lug a thousand-pound cooler full of all the naughtiest treats everyone loves to love, and you sit there in your bikini, skin deepening with the day, kids hair increasingly dreadlocked with chlorine, and no one going anywhere until they shut off the sprayground and start tucking away the lounge chairs.
There has to be a good baseball game. Farm team, not anything real. Something slow and local that smells like hot dogs and cheap beer.
There has to be laying on grass. Daisy chain making and dandelion blowing.
There has to be the long, slow sip of a champagne cocktail with the slightest drizzle of bitters and a sugar cube. Russell taught me that.
The reading of Dandelion Wine. Amy taught me that.
A decent evening meal on the patio of a favorite restaurant. Not a chain restaurant, a local one. One that serves special plates and let’s you stay all night under strung white lights and bright red umbrellas. Dessert must be ordered. And lingered over. At some point, you must toss your head back and suck deeply the summer air into your lungs, exclaiming, “oh! this moment is a perfect perfect perfect moment!”
There needs be the gathering of children around a campfire for s’mores. They have to be hot and sticky, falling into the flames and dirt, entirely messy and miserable. After which you lay on a hammock, or in a camp chair (but never on a sleeping bag because who wants to actually camp) and hold them tight, hands rolling up and down their little arms, admitting for just a moment that–just like the summer–they are flying through your fingers. And it’s okay. But for now, right now, they are in your arms. And it’s so so good.
And avocados. Tomatoes. Basil. Fresh corn. On toast. That has to happen before summers end. Because, it just does. Don’t be impertinent and wonder why. Just be. Just breathe. Just let summer happen. Insist on it. Allow it. Stop and let it overcome you.
For there are only just a few fleeting days of it left.
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 large purple onions, diced
2/3 cup fresh corn, sliced off the cob
1/4 cup basil, chopped
salt to taste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar reduction (buy it in the store or make your own)
4 pieces of good, hearty, whole-grain bread, toasted
In a large bowl, gently stir together the tomatoes, avocado, purple onions, corn, and basil. Add just enough salt to flavor the concoction well. Spoon generously over pieces of toast. Top with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction. ENJOY!