summer gorgeous summer blossoms trickle from the trees like snow mixing in with our hair as we run and jump in celebration of the sun fewer clothes to hamper our movement warmth penetrating our bones thawing winter stiffness crickets frogs children all sing the praises of freedom delicately spiced air buoys our every hope and need for relaxation we let go a long-held sigh worldwide all people of all cultures exhale in unison

though summer travels the globe differently

the olfactory sense is closely linked to memory when we inhale the wind we remember that wind from decades before when we smell Old Spice we remember being hugged by our fathers or if our fathers were dead or in jail we remember friends’ fathers or the rare compassionate neighbor who felt sorry for us in the fifth grade that one act of kindness and picture of the person we still hold onto in summer we remember the best parts of our childhoods occasionally summer days were dangerous and it got too hot to go outside and some old people died mostly however summer saved us we remember the times when we ran or roamed watched fireworks swam in a lake got sunburned even if our childhoods were marred by tragedy injustice or physical restriction we all ate barbeque at least once laughed with siblings or long-lost cousins and chased them with the hose or splashed in the pool in summer we found our glory

our freedom from hurtful actions and words

even if we were victims of the most horrific crimes if our sisters were killed in Birmingham or Baghdad if we were forced to be child soldiers and carry guns or our parents made us do drugs with them we all breathed in the dust of a dried up earth felt the sun burning the napes of our necks our shoulders and cheeks we watched the shapes of animals morph in the clouds and giggled in the middle of a daydream if only once

this is our common kinship

summer was something that took us outside of ourselves a blessing a momentary release from pain even if our uncles or grandparents kept us in most days to protect us or hurt us there was still that one bike ride we will remember forever the one special time we got to pet a horse visit a farm climb a tower go on a hike the times we gathered dandelions smashed rocks open looking for gold sucked on the ends of wheat saw a sky filled with bats or hot air balloons got stung by a bee and cried for our mothers who may or may not have been there to hear us the times we ran with other people’s dogs watched television outside threw a baseball or football were chased by turkeys marveled at a wildfire or lightning storm

when we were this close to falling into a river

when we inhale summer we remember our ultimate connection to our innocence when we were truly blameless and good before we knew better before we adopted the erroneous habit of carrying vengeance we remember when the world was wondrous if only for intermittent spurts like the time in between sunrises blinks or hiccups and we held our breath in anticipation of summer for the fun and brightness it brought for its solace

its release from the various prisons that are made for children

we all know summer a universal grace too hot sometimes too short always it invites us to remember the texture and scent of honest luscious joy that is our collective birthright and unstolen dream


(c) 2013