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The Fading Summers

18 Jun

The heat slowly pushes northward, from the Simi Valley to the Redwoods, across the Rogue River to the Mighty Columbia, and finally to Olympia, capitol of Washington and home to new, and faded, dreamers.  Pushing the envelope, they say, record temps they say, an oddity for sure, clouds and heat, oppressive by mid-morning on this twelfth of June, a dog day afternoon approaching, thunder heads forming on the horizon, and time slows for us all.

Colors are muted in the heat.  Voices are quieter, movements slower, and chores cut short.  Children race through sprinklers or slide down sheets of plastic, road crews battle dust, visions of an iced cold one waiting at the end of their shift, and the elderly shed their coats and prepare for a game of chess in the park under spreading maples and elms.

Dogs call a postponement of all games, their tongues lagging, bees rejoice in the flowering berry bushes, hummingbirds are oblivious, wings beating furiously, and chickens head under the shed, not to be seen again until the cooling evening. Streets shimmer, wisps of white hang suspended from the heavens, and somewhere in the distance Mungo Jerry sings about summertime and women on his mind.

Memories of long ago, flip flops and drive-in movies, snow cones and sizzling burgers, bike rides with friends, all convinced the sun would never set on our multi-act play, “Help” by the Fab Four playing on  KJR, 950 on your dial but #1 in your hearts, long summer days, hot summer days, ball games and talking ‘bout girls, showing our plumage and not knowing a damned thing, clinging to a rapidly-fading innocence, hoping against hope, knowing it’s a fool’s game to do so, no chance at all of it all lasting.

Reminiscing plus a couple bucks will get you a cup of coffee, the truth of the matter, and yet the value of it is priceless as time grays the hair and shortens the stride.  We are the summation of those memories, walking, talking time machines, straight out of Jules Verne, with a few more miles of tread left on those tires, and memories can soothe us, keep us company when the summer fades and the shortened nights of winter wrap around us, stealing the heat needed for survival.  Those memories are peaceful now, their sharp edges worn smooth by time, and forgiveness, and they spread over me like my favorite toddler blanket of long ago.

Wishing for you all that same peacefulness!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”