Beautiful Summer

Henry James once said that the two most beautiful words in the English language were “Summer Afternoon”. Personally, I tend to agree. There is nothing better than a warm day, sitting near the water with a book in hand, watching the day go by oh so slowly.

However, in the last…almost ten years, I have really not even noticed the passing of the seasons in the least bit. First I lived in San Francisco, where there is only gray and fog with the occasional burst of sunshine. However the sunshine is not in the “summer” but instead in the strangest of times – April, May or October. After San Francisco, I lived in London and Istanbul – London was mostly rainy (I was there in the “summer”) and Istanbul was mostly hot (I was there in the “fall”). No normal seasons there! Then I spent some time in Florida and Louisiana. Again - no “summer”. There is only hot, hotter and hottest. Oh and muggy, muggier and muggiest.

I miss the time of year when winter slips into to spring, where the first buds come up and the countryside is so green and new. I miss the fall, where the trees turn fiery orange and red and you can feel that slight bit of crisp in the air. I miss the winter – the sledding, the snowball fights, the pink cheeks and hot chocolate.

But most of all, I miss the summer. I miss the cold water of the Feather River. I miss laying on a huge rock trying to get warm before jumping back into the cold water. I miss having a beer on the porch at 10 o’clock at night when it is still warm. I miss the midnight dips in the river. I miss fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, barbeques and family times.

This year I am going to “take the summer back!” I may not be in a place where I have a so-called summer, but I am going to make my own summer wherever I am. Last month I went camping and hiking in Canada. Yesterday I went fishing in my grandmother’s pond. I went swimming in the ocean. In August my grandmother turns 75 and we are going to have a big party in the park where we will hang out with family, swim and barbeque.

Perhaps if I can bring all the elements of summer together bit by bit, once again I can experience the most beautiful of the beautiful – my very own “summer afternoon”.

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