You can see the signs everywhere.
Summer is right around the corner.
For us Texans, spring is glorious. It comes early, it paints our roadsides with wildflowers, it makes us proud to be right where and when we are… but it doesn’t last long. Maybe that’s part of the wonder of it all – the knowledge that it is a fleeting whisper of a thing.
Before long we will be in the midst of summer’s skin crackling, snapping turtle grip.
The turtle let’s go when it thunders. The summer sun doesn’t let go until a cool wind blows – around about October, when we are weak and withered, gasping for air.
It isn’t that I don’t like summer. I do.
Berries and watermelon. Swimming and picnics. Sandcastles and shells. Children who wear swimsuits for months on end, fireflies. Oh fireflies!
We’ve had two in a jar by the bedside already this year. My Ryder, upon seeing the first of the season said, “Did you know about this?” He was astonished that somehow, someway, he had missed the existence of light up bugs! (Though I know he saw them last year.)
He kept saying, “They light up! Bugs that light up!” The way his mouth hung open over it, I was a little worried that he’d come to know how they tasted as well.
There has been sprinkler play, while just inside, mama’s sewing machine whirs, spinning out a steady stream of bandana pants for boys and new summer shirts for herself.
There have been shirts shed across the yard and bare feet coated in sidewalk chalk.
Most of our meals have been eaten outside, with bits of crust carried off to the chickens – fluid meals eaten between laps around the grass, bird spottings and squirrel dinner theater.
So yes, I do love this new season, but I love it the way you love the relatives who come to stay. You plan for them, enjoy them, celebrate them, revel in the gifts and stories and embraces that they bring, but then after a while you think they better go on down the road before tensions rise and love is lost.
Summer is our crazy, fun loving, but often free loading uncle. He doesn’t know when to leave, and so we are bracing ourselves, half excited, half dreading his visit.