I think you'll agree that we got off on the wrong foot this year. There really was no need for you to raise your voice at us--how many days in a row did you murder us with a hundred degrees? And then covering our noses and mouths with the thick St. Louis haze... was it necessary? Did you make your point?
That's why last night was such a treat.
Have you done some soul-searching? (I've been doing a lot of that myself, lately.) Did you finally look up to see us, red and sweaty-faced and miserable, hoping you'd relent? Or were you just tired of your own temper? (I know that feeling too.)
Whatever it was: thanks.
Yesterday evening at the park was bliss. As I wrote at that picnic table, watching the little kids outrace one another, I realized that this is the sort of night they'll be nostalgic for. Those summer evenings where they play past a glorious sunset, as their friends turn to phantom-like shades of grey, and their shouts grow louder as they see less and less, but still never want to go home.
(If they're like me, they might also swallow a lot of accidental bugs.)
You can get drunk off sunsets like this...
The living really is easy on a night like that. The breeze after dark tingled over my skin, just cool enough. And all the way home, the scents rising off the sweet cornfields and roadside honeysuckle twisted into a midwestern perfume.
Today you're still in your mild, generous mood. The sky is so blue, it makes my throat hurt to look at it, broken by fiercely white torn-paper clouds...
There are possibilities, when you behave like this. You have me dreaming of outdoor eating (like that grilled pineapple recipe I was smitten with yesterday), of reading for hours under such a sky, of long lazy conversations that go from afternoon to evening to cicada-filled night, and like the racing kids, never want to stop.
If you can manage to stay this gracious, then I can manage to put aside my prejudices (as you forced me to do last July), and embrace you, summer, love you until the end.(P.S.: Hula Seventy has a genius for summer love. Genius.)