Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Childhood Summers

Burnt grass on an extremely hot summer day. I am not yet spoiled by air conditioners. The old fan slowly moving its head back and forth, offering moments of respite is enough for me. A long, yellow piece of plastic with fat drops of water falling from a nearby sprinkler. The sun is so bright that I can see the individual pieces of burnt grass. There are clothes dried to a stiff cardboard on one clothesline, while the other line holds cool and refreshing, damp t-shirts. I run under them to feel the momentary shock of cold on my skin.

Across the alley are wild grapes on a makeshift arbor. They taste horrible but I pick them just the same. I spend delicious minutes peeling them, imagining the fruity taste that may exist underneath the bitter peel. I eat one to test my hypothesis. It is bitter and I spit it out but it does not stop me from trying again tomorrow.

There is a weeping willow tree down the street. It is a bittersweet object. The long, spider like limbs make exquisite switches for me and my sister's behinds. After getting in trouble, I retreat to the same object that produces the tools of my punishment. She hides me and seems to offer condelences within her long limbs. Maybe this is why they call it a weeping willow.

These are some of my most vivid summer memories, etched into my being, interwoven into who I am. What do you think of when you think of summer as a child?