“Nothing on Earth that’ll get me humming, like a heat wave coming and I’ll come running. With her making that tan in the broad daylight and every night is a Saturday night.” — From the song “Summer’s Coming” by Clint Black
As we observed Memorial Day earlier this week, I knew it was here.
And while what we should be thankful for on Memorial Day is obviously more important, I can’t help but always think of summer truly being here once we arrive at this point.
I don’t really care what the official date is for summer. To me, when the final school bell rings and the sun has everything on hot before lunch, it’s summer. I’ve already had my first swim of the season and to be honest I’m probably late to that party.
Summer has always been something special and unique for me. It’s probably because I associate it so closely with my childhood. The hours and hours I would spend outside riding motorcycles to swimming to trips to the lake, you just couldn’t beat late May through August.
It’s hard to believe those carefree years are now so far in the past. Decades have even elapsed since I was truly able to enjoy summer, although I still do my best to make the most of it.
These days, summer is just an extension of every other season. It’s just more work really although these days those of us with jobs probably should be more thankful than ever.
Yet, I still find myself enjoying this time. It’s probably because I can actually get home before darkness falls (on some days) and, if things fall right, maybe even have a meal out with friends.
I went swimming for the first time last summer thanks to my friends the Browns and the use of their pool. In addition to the much-needed exercise it provides, it has also served as a stress reliever. (During my first trek this year it was remarked how I fell asleep in a lounge chair.)
In my youth, summer also meant camps, ones which often lasted a week, and for a young person away from home for that amount of time it was a treat. Friendships that were solidified during those times remain strong today and it’s odd to think about how far down the road all of us have traveled since those carefree days. House payments, jobs, families and other real-world committments make it tough to enjoy these months like we once did, but I know we still do everything we can to stay young — if only at heart.
So it is with great pleasure I say “welcome back” to summer. Times have changed but there will always be something unique about this time of year. Even in the hectic, stress-filled profession I work in, things seem to be a little less chaotic.
Summer gives us all a chance to inhale, catch our breath and relax. For me, it will always mean fun, whether years ago as a youngster or now, when I have to force myself to enjoy life a little more. I know it will be gone in a blink, but for now I’m just going to enjoy it.
For me, all I have to do is close my eyes and I can see myself as a carefree young person again. Spending countless hours outside in the hot Georgia summer, enjoying times with friends and allowing everything summer meant flow over us. I miss those times but summer is powerful enough for us to always enjoy, regardless of how far down the road we are.
Welcome back old friend. Welcome back. It’s so great to have you back with us.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.