This little display in a Sonoma, Calif. shop made me think of summer and those sunny, lazy days ahead of us. Even though dragonflies are kind of bizarre-looking and maybe even a little scary (you just don’t want to look at them up close) their graceful flight reminds me of summer days on the East coast.
Living in Florida all those years, seasonal boundaries barely existed. There, every day was a summer day, just about. That’s why summer reminds me of Rochester, NY, the place both M. and I grew up. It’s the only place I’ve ever lived that had four distinct seasons. And while I wouldn’t want to live in that small-minded, Rust Belt city, I do love to visit and can even wax nostalgic about it. In my mind’s eye, our neighborhood still looks the same, with the same neighbors, the same beautiful green lawns and the same …. the same everything, really.
But of course, all those people are long gone, most of them, anyway. It’s not even that I was that happy growing up–it’s more that it’s all relative, really. Our history is ours alone, and the images that evoke our roots still have an emotional pull. I just don’t want to look too closely at them; feeling the power of the emotion’s enough. Maybe it’s a little like muscle memory.
Now that I’m teaching again, summer vacation has the same meaning it had when I was a kid. School’s out! But since I’m grown, I’ve got myself so busy that it doesn’t feel much like summer vacation at all.
Summer’s a short season for me this year, bounded by my trips to NY and London on the early side and Santa Fe and India just after fall, leaving us no time to visit our hometown, and I’m sorry. So this year, I’ll just have to be content with looking at this dragonfly and imaging myself a child in the lazy days of summer.
So, I wonder: what evokes summertime for you? What’s the perfect lazy summer day?