July 27, 2011 — We are still in summer, the time before the anxiety of school starting again, the time before all the “rubber chicken” dinners dot our calendars, and the time when we haven’t yet given up on watering the grass.
The world is tense with the problems I need not delineate here. Yet for these few weeks, we still have the sensations of summer all around us.
For a moment contemplate the sensory reality of summer and its richness today and in memory. My neighbor children, ages 6 and 4, love riding their bikes under close supervision of parents. I can hear the children racing up and down, the 6-year-old boy turning wheelies, the 4-year-old girl laughing and yelling, her voice probably magnified by that pink flowered helmet she wears.
Summer’s bounty offers the soft, slick feel of silks from corn on the cob, the slightly prickly edge of a fresh cucumber from a neighbor’s garden or the texture of that first fresh strawberry on the tongue.
The taste of summer’s fruits and vegetables makes us remember how good grandmother’s strawberry-rhubarb pie tasted, and that cold, refreshing swig of lemonade made with real sugar (before Splenda and middle-aged days).
Even on these hot, steamy days when the air feels as if it hangs in chunks from the oppressive humidity, summer mornings can smell like what the new Earth must have been like. There is freshness, cleanliness to early summer mornings, dew resting on summer flowers, odors that tickle one’s nose.
Finally, Indiana in midsummer is a breathtaking place, with some corn “as high as an elephant’s eye,” as the musical “Oklahoma” declares. The Tri-State has many high-contrast days when a Crayola- blue sky highlights green grass and gardens, and flowers and vegetation bloom in every color. Who has driven past a field of purple wildflowers and noticed that special gift from Mother Nature?
The problems of the world will still be here tomorrow.
Breathe in deeply and enjoy the moment, as summer is fleeting.
Amy McVay Abbott, special to the Courier & Press