As I watched the sun set I realized again how different the light is in the summer. The golden tones that make it seem so slow and easy to do nothing. After this series it got dark, that thick deep violet where your eyes can perceive light but the camera can’t and you can see the fireflies come out of the trees and high grasses along with hearing the crickets and cicadas and the occasional little frog. We watched and listened for quite a while before scrambling for the car when the mosquitoes came out.
What is it about the late afternoon/early evening summer light that makes people nostalgic? Is it something we’ve inherited from out ancestors or is it our own memories of happy times riding bikes, swimming, and running around the neighborhood with friends chasing ice cream trucks while our mothers were yelling for us to come home?
There is something different about the light that comes in the late summer when life is just a little slower. We have more picnics and barbecues and we spend more time visiting with people we don’t see during the colder months. We have more parties and get togethers and concerts. There are drive ins and trips to the local ice cream shop where the older kids work during the summer. Everything about summer almost seems dipped in honey.
My family used to go to the lake for vacation and I looked forward to it all year. It was the one place where everyone was equal and everyone mattered and everyone got time to talk. We went canoeing and picked a water lily and then put it in a margarine tub on the table, we drank out of mismatched glasses, ate off mismatched plates, and nobody cared. We took turns cooking and cleaning and turning the crank on the ice cream maker so we could have fresh ice cream for dessert. We went fishing, had water fights, build towns in the sand, hunted frogs and crayfish, listened to my mother read a story out loud, and went for night swims with my father when it was too hot to sleep. That part of summer was possibly the most idyllic time of my life.
If I stop and think about it I know not everyone got to have those moments as a child, but there are ways to have them as adults now that you control your own experiences and get to make your own choices. I highly encourage you to stake out some time for yourself and enjoy a couple of the lazy days of summer before they’re gone.