I hope I can admit it when I'm wrong. So this is me, admitting: as far back as I can remember, I've declared (rather passionately) that I hate summers. Hate them. Which usually makes people look at me as if I've said something inhuman. What kind of a girl hates summer?
A girl who dislikes slow suffocation, I grumble back. St. Louis humidity is not a gentle thing. And so I prefer what I call Jane Eyre weather over a sizzling July. Not a hard choice.
But they haven't been summers like this.
Today was another gorgeous day, another blaze of writing productivity, another glorious evening. They are gifts, days like this.
A simple supper of eggs and toast, and coffee with Kristen. The coffee taken out to our new deck--recently replaced amidst all the home renovating going on here. The old deck was very exciting but not inviting: you didn't know when and where you might fall through. This new one is entirely inviting. It invited us and our coffee and a dozen hungry mosquitoes.
But the evening was perfect. Perfect. For drinking hazelnut coffee and talking about everything--our weeks and what was on our minds. She introduced me to Owl City, music that completed the summer air.
She worked on a painting, and I decoupaged our ... what to call it? It's the thing that hangs in a foyer to cover the guts of the doorbell. That hideous olivey-puce bit of plastic. That. Covering it is a social service, a saving of civilization...
So we talk. Rave about coffee. Swat mosquitoes. Spray bug repellent. Then find a mosquito actually sitting on the repellent bottle. Consider effectiveness of repellent. Continue swatting. I stick my fingers together with decoupage glue. She stands back to judge her painting. We turn the music up.
We're there until the light is nearly gone, and I am squinting at my project. The sunset would make every artist devote her life to the study of clouds. What kind of God makes the sky his ever-changing, breath-taking canvas? As we're marveling, the bat flicks through.
And then we're shouting at it, cheering it on. Eat those mosquitoes! It is very welcome here.
She has a petsitting job, so I go with her to visit Phoebe. Phoebe the Wonder Dog, I call her. She is so frightened of me that I spend the visit apologizing as she quivers away from me. So I wander the garden behind her house, smelling the flowers, and thinking about gardens at night. On the ride home, I look at the profiles of other drivers. And I think that profiles for some artists (or some writers?) could be what clouds are to others...
So it was a day for revising. For changing my mind. A week like this will make me uproot my thesis about summer, my dissertation on humidity and glare and hundred-degree heat. I will love rainy days and sleet and fog and their accompanying atmosphere, no question. But I think now I have room for loving summer, this kind of summer. Let's make them all like this, please.
It was a full day. And I'm up too late. But there is something intoxicating about such beauty. I hope that it's contagious. That maybe, if I stare long and hard enough, it will soak in, and pour through my dreams. I'll go find out.