An Ode to Summer '13 // Notes from My Phone
These are notes from my phone c. 2016.
There are certain moments when my mind wanders across the Great Plains of my bran and I scratch beneath the surface to find memories that haven't seen the sun in years.
I unbury them from their solidarity mind tombs and play them on a projector screen in my head as I sit back in a lawn chair and have some visual therapy. An emotional visual therapy flood of sweet summertime memories fill my existence head to toe.
Nostalgia hits me first and it hits me the hardest. It twinges my heart while it fills my eyes with flashbacks of the evening summer sun breaking its way through the trees of my front yard; filling the pockets of shade casting their ways on my front lawn. My heart twinges for the times when time had no relevance. When time was slow like a Saturday morning watching cartoons in your PJ's until noon. Time seemed slower back then—even if "back then" wasn't that long ago. Why is it that time punishes us as we get older? Why does time want us to not enjoy the very essence of a slow summer day? They seem to go by so quick; crossing off day after day, week after week, month after month, until we hit Labour Day and all have to crawl back to the offices and schools we came from at the start of summer. Time becomes an enemy as we get older. Have you ever noticed that? Your mom and dad probably have. Your mom might cry at the sight of a wrinkle on her 40th birthday and blame time for aging her. Your dad might remember back to the good times of college or the summertimes during his childhood when he had space and time to roam; to do things he can't do now that he has a family and responsibility. Time becomes our enemies with each passing summer and every birthday. Every second of summer counts. Every wasted minute is our mistake that we can't forgive ourselves for. Every waisted hour sitting inside with nothing to do is a shame—a summer sin. We crave for the time we have or had during the summer because every get together, every family, friend, neighborhood BBQ; every beach day where you stay until that orange ball of fire sets in the sky—is the loveliest thing life could give us.
Summer is the time to fill your personal Memory Box and my personal Memory Box is nostalgic for the days with the Days. The first summer that we traveled cross country to visit our East Coast family—the ones I never met for the longest time. All those hours sitting in the car were pointless until I met them because in the end, it was worth every boring minute. Everyday there was the best of times.
I remember seeing their house and neighborhood and town for the first time. There's nothing quite like seeing something new for the first time. It's special. Your eyes awaken to the new sights. I remember the birthday party for my cousin with the entire neighborhoodandall of my family andall of my cousins' friends. Everyone surrounded me, telling me "how much they heard about me!" Everyone was as sweet as the sweet peach tea being served on the back porch that my auntie and uncle get specially from Georgia.
Good music blasted all day and all night long. People were always around, coming in and out as they pleased. Great BBQ was being served by the plateful. Our only worry was which generation of Day would win the family yard game competition. People seemed to unite and gather there at my uncle's place at any time or any day. Everyone was always welcome. I remember sitting on a lawn chair with my uncle. I was small enough to still fit by his side while we watched people catching fireflies in jars. It was the first time in my life I had seen fireflies. I thought they were s cool.
Everything was perfect—the sticky, sickly sweet kind of perfect. I miss that first summer back east. I miss the summer that I didn't really have to think twice about anything at all. And my days were filled with the lost art of Conversation between my uncle and I and sweet peach tea was cold at any time and yard games between the generations and great food all of the time and lake days with the cousins I hadn't met until now, but couldn't imagine my life without them. That's the memories I want to remember when I die. The memories before any family baggage; when no one fought or bickered. When nothing was wrong at all. I want to remember the sweet memories of my family during the summer '13. Summer '13 was the sweetest summer of them all.
Folks, live your summer like it's your last. Go on road trips to see your family, no matter how far away they are. Go to the beach and swim in the sea at dark. Get out of the city. Travel. Do BBQs. Dance a lot. Do everything you wouldn't normally do, because summer is the time for everyone and everythingto be at its best. I am a summer child; an August baby. And from my short years of life, I've accumulated one piece of advice; you grow from summer—just like all of the tomatoes and sunflowers that litter your yards. And every year, as much as it's sad for me to say goodbye to my one love, I know that she'll be back next year with more adventures and new things to teach me. And at the end, I'll grow to be a different person than who you knew and saw at the start of summer. Summer is the time for everything. Love and cherish it.