It's not been a secret, my un-love affair with summer. I've made some pretty harsh, judgmental statements. But summer did its best to win me over at the beginning of September. I think she even forgave my brash, rude, petulance.
Visiting FloridaDad and SWEJudy the other week, each afternoon found us taking cover from the daily Central Florida summer storm. Only instead of abating after an hour or so, the rain kept coming. And coming.
But on my last night, a reprieve. Post-dinner cleanup found me grabbing my iPod and heading a block away to the beach as the sun was setting. I hit play on my "Summer of Sundays" playlist and set to strolling.
"& its you and me in the summertime
We'll be hand in hand down in the park
With a squeeze & a sigh & that twinkle in your eye
& all the sunshine banishes the dark"
- The Sundays, "Summertime"
The song ended as I kicked my flops under the sea grapes and set towards the water. Not many walkers that late. A few blokes casting. The lights of cruise boats twinkling off shore.
"well the heat was enormous
it fell like a gorgeous
blanket of indian clay
time drifting over us, stagnant like thunderclouds
pregnant and heavy with rain"
- Eddie From Ohio, "This My Town"
The breeze reminded me that the morning's showers had chased away the languor of humidity and stickiness of heat. My toes hit the edge of the perfect water, same temperature as the air. My cadence slowed to a surf strut.
"Maybe sometimes, we've got it wrong, but it's alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, don't you hesitate . . .
You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow."
- Corinne Bailey Rae, "Put Your Records On"
The lights inside the condos loomed brighter as I moseyed south. My pace quickened to a jaunt - almost a dance - as the next tune bubbled up.
"If everything is nothing, then are we anything?
Is it better to be better than to be anything?"
- Counting Crows, "Einstein On the Beach"
At least three times, I jumped up and down in the surf, once landing on a sand crab. Ouch! Out of breath, a respite as Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" chilled me out.
I couldn't have timed the scoring better. As I saw the last glimpse of sun to the west, The Sundays returned with words to bid the day's glow adieu:
"The thought of heaven couldn't drag me from the path
When I'm wandering here alone
I climb higher move towards the fire.... so blaze sun
Watch until it dies slow falling from the sky
Pale fading sun"
- The Sundays, "Folk Song"
Have you ever cha cha'd to XTC in the surf? I recommend it.
"You play hard to get
'Cause you're teacher's pet
But when the boats have gone
We'll take a tumble excuse for a fumble"
- XTC, Grass
My only picnic of the summer was dining with PJamaMama on the lawn at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for the Indigo Girls show. What a fine evening that was!
"and my family takes picnics to the park
on warm weather holidays
and we ask all the neighbors, and they invite all their friends in kind
and we all bring side dishes, and we form one big holiday buffet line"
- Eddie From Ohio, "I Don't Think I Know Me"
"Nightswimming, remembering that night
September's coming soon
I'm pining for the moon"
- R.E.M. "Nightswimming"
It struck me during this tune that I had not skinnydipped before. I turned around and realized the sun had fully set. I was halfway through my playlist, so I about faced and headed for home.