Wednesday, March 23, 2011

an ode to what's to come.

I am absolutely meant to be outside for as much time in my life as possible, without a single doubt.

Naturally, I'm fucking THRILLED TO DEATH that we're seeing some significant signs of warmth and life and less punishing conditions in my current locale. I saw daffodils in bloom yesterday that weren't in a grocery store! Driving home from work, I see tennis and soccer and baseball leagues starting practice again, fresh bouncing balls and unscuffed cleats. To me, it looks like relief. Seeing life take hold again.

I don't know if I've sufficiently expressed just how much of a summer person I am, but I'm going to go ahead and cover all my bases on that again right now, just in case not everyone got the whole picture. When the weather is nice, I'm a completely different person. In the summer, the glass becomes half-full, I stay up later than ten pm on weeknights, and I can feel myself just smiling for the sake of it. I sometimes even smile at elderly strangers. Creepy, but also, just, like, stupid cheerful.

I know that everyone gets a little crazy and more fun and just generally lively in the hot, sunny days of warmth and magic, but there's normal-person-contentment and then there's OMGZ SARA IS ALIVE!

My entire happiness in life could almost revolve around waking up with my hair smelling of campfire and that disgusting blackened marshmellow goo still stuck under my fingernails. My snarkiness becomes good-natured sarcasm. I feel lighter, and not just because of the significant reduction in clothing layers. I love the smell of the air and the feel of it, driving with every window down and the music as loud as it will get. There's nothing, nothing, in the world like a hot dog, cold beer, and live music while nursing a sunburn and wearing something cotton and thin. Throwing a blanket down on a patch of grass with a couple of friends at dusk in the summer does more for me than years of therapy ever could.  Summer is my answer to healing anything that ails. It's a miracle cure.

Everyone looks more attractive, comfortable in their own skin. Makeup is minimal if worn at all. Think about it honestly, doesn't everyone look prettier in the summer? Maybe it's the sun, or the warmth, or the feeling that waking up to light instead of dark gives you deep down, but it's true. Summer is the season for romantic flings because people are comfortable and just whatever enough to let themselves just be swept away, if only until the leaves start to change. Summer is never about practicality, and maybe that's why is appeals so strongly to my impractical, impulsive spirit. Moderation has always been lost on me.

And then there's the water, the insatiable urge to submerge myself in a body of water. The water is my favorite part of the whole summer package. I love the look and sounds and smells of bodies of water, lakes, rivers, streams, in the winter months too, but I love the feel of them in the summer. Spending every childhood summer at a cottage on the most beautiful lake in the entire world kind of ruined me, but in the best way possible. Ever go waterskiiing on glass at dawn? It's a religious experience. And I'm not even religious.   (and I'm not bullshitting, take a look:)

Torch Lake : She's a real beaut.

I guess it's probably logical to ask, why do I endure the winter, stay in the Midwest? Why don't I just move somewhere that my summer soul can breathe and play all year round without having to retreat into the darkened corners of my spirit when the days get shorter and the commute involves a fifteen minute defrost period, and stepping out of the shower genuinely feels like cruel and unusual punishment? Because I am from the Midwest, through and through. I swear to myself that I'd never even notice the lack of changing seasons, absence of musical transitions, switching to flannel sheets, the necessity of a hot drink in the morning. I'd be fine without mittens and pressing my frigid hands against Manfriend's belly to torture him warm myself up. It's no secret that I fall short of the joy-to-be-around category in the wintertime, but Winter is part of who I am. It's engrained in there as deep as my need to read books or laugh at the exact wrong time. Maybe I'm only cutting Winter some slack because it's finally loosening its grips and the sun is shining and I didn't wear a coat this morning. Whatever the reason, I'm afraid to find out the person I'd be if I didn't have the weather to dictate some necessary highs and lows in my emotional repotoire.

So I need Winter, I guess, for Summer to feel as good as it does.

Last night was nothing if it wasn't a tease. It was warm enough to sit outside in the backyard with a tumbler of Beam and Diet, in a chair circle with a couple of kimosabes and just enjoy each other and being out of doors, sans mosquitos, coats, shivering. I felt like I hadn't even seen my friends in five months, and I guess we're all coming out of the fog.

We started planning our first ladies-only canoeing/camping trip of the season last night because, finally, it seems plausible again. And believe you me, nothing gets me excited quite like daydreaming about rolling down the river in a bathing suit and the sun frying my shoulders, hopping in the river whenever I need to cool off, doing everything on my own time, singing some very butchered summer-songs with the girls,  and holding a water-bottle of whiskey and coke between my knees as I attempt to navigate our tiny vessel through the minor rapids, wayward branches, and sandbars, while splashing the neighboring boats with my paddle and eating about four packs of hot-dogs in a two day period.

For me, Summer doesn't warrant the same mental-stealing preparation that Winter does. I relish in the heat, often just sitting in my sweltering car for a couple of minutes before rolling down the windows and heading in the direction of my destination. I know, I'm all sorts of weird at times. I CAN'T HELP IT, I GET CARRIED AWAY! Summer is like breathing out after seeing how long you can hold your breath. It's the release.

And it's finally, finally, coming back.

It's supposed to be cold again tomorrow, and stay that way for almost a week, but I'll know that it won't stick; it's the last kick, the Custer's Last Stand.  I trust the summer to come back now, because it always does. And sure, even in the summer I'll be discontent and disappointed with some of the bigger aspects of my life, but Summer is and always will be my time for taking it in stride, believing it will work out in the end, letting the problems seem smaller so I'm not afraid to take them on and solve them.

We're in the final stretch, let's all hold on a little longer.

 Oh, and feel free to unabashedly pull the Marley back out, even if you're not a stoner, it's time for summer music again.

XO Sara

1 comment:

  1. See I say I would never miss winter, and that I would only go visit it. And that I would enjoy the experience of a sunny, hot Christmas morning, but now that you've made me think about it, as much as I hate winter I think I would miss it slash it would make me appreciate summer even less. Which I couldn't do because I love summer, and the warm weather. Ahhhh. so glad it's starting to warm up again.