Sunlight floods the frantic, final days of school and illuminates the glorious, first days of summer. No other week since Christmas elicits such sentiment.
No graduates for us this year: and no party to plan.
The comfort of walking down a thickly shaded sidewalk returns. Bikes emerge, ridden by young and old alike; moving leisurely on a path, or parked in messy tangles in front of 7-11.
Dogs. Peonies. Porches.
Final exams are graded. Discarded notebooks are stacked on the floor next to the desk. I drop my 15-year-old daughter off at Chipotle. Her hair and eyebrows are perfect. Her shorts are short.
Waves of heat hit me as I open the car door. Sauna-like. I settle, as the heat warms my face, travels down my arms and seeps into my bones. Warmth. Summer. I turn on Sirius coffee house, roll down the windows, open the sunroof and it’s a party!
I wake at 4:30AM. One of the kids turned on the air-conditioner while we slept. The open bedroom windows let the air out into the night. One son has joined a frat and assures us it’s nothing like the news story from Penn State. His twin brother needs a haircut. I shut off the air and settle onto my pillow to listen to the first chirps of the morning. The twins borrow our car to go to the park to play baseball with their friends after work.
Sunday morning, too beautiful for church. I make bacon, eggs, fruit, toast, the whole show. We sit in the hot kitchen, and nobody complains that the air is off. Every window sits wide open and the glorious day fills our hearts. They linger and talk. We pray. It’s heavenly.
No guns. No gangs. No bombs. No news. No hate.
Eventually they hunker into the corners of our house once again, on their phones. I load the dishwasher and feel the warmth of gratitude for summer’s first pleasures.