Long summer days make room for the things that seem to get squeezed out of those quick winter hours, lost in between the layered armor of wool and down, simple pleasures that need the sun to coax them out and warm breezes to get ’em moving.
Maybe it’s simply about having more daylight that lends itself to lazily puttering around the kitchen to get some dinner started at 6:30 or 7pm. Maybe the extra light helps our minds and bodies to feel lighter, more awake; we are hungry for food that gives real nutrients. Real food picked from trees and bushes, plants giving us daily garden-bounty, and pinches of seasoning from this sprig or that.
Some days there is also that oppressive heat…especially down here in the South where the heat comes with a healthy dose of air so laden with moisture, you feel like growing gills just to get some oxygen. The heat slows you down. There just isn’t much that will get a person moving quickly through this variety of warmth. You learn to embrace the time-honored tradition of wearing linen because it really does breathe, like they say. Makeup is only for evening dates. Shoes are optional, depending on the activity…if you end up in a shallow creek bed, cool water rushing over mossy-slick rocks, then ditch the shoes, but take it easy trying to get anywhere. Many a decent person has busted a tail bone that way.
Truly the best way to spend away the hours, in my humble opinion, is by talking. I know there are tv shows to binge watch and best-sellers to blaze through, but maybe they can wait a little while. Is there anything better than sitting around an ice-cold watermelon with some people that you like, solving the world’s problems and telling embarrassing stories, the melon so sweet and juicy and dripping on everything (and maybe someone grabs a salt shaker, but not me) that it somehow makes the conversation sweeter?
The world might be getting darker, but we still have some hours of daylight. The heat is blazing (and I honestly don’t think it’s a coincidence that violence seems to escalate during the hottest months and concentrated in some of the most southern states) and it can make people mad and the living hard.
But as far as it is up to us, let’s just slow down. Let’s start a conversation and then listen. Let’s enjoy each other. Let’s go sit in the sun for a little while and sip on something cold.
The summer days are long but the years just fly right on by.