Summer makes me happy! Sunshine. Blue skies. Lazy days. Swimming pools. Cool drinks. Baseball. Watermelon. Picnics. Patios. Snow cones. I love it all.
All the rules change in summer:
- No school for the kiddos.
- “Dressy casual” becomes more casual and less dressy at the office.
- The sun stays up longer, so dinner can be something on the grill (or sometimes just hors d’oeuvres and cocktails).
- Nature is in abundance – our gardens are in full bloom and the hummingbirds return.
- Everything just feels a little lighter – a little more carefree.
- Vacations (even a little road trip) can be a time to recharge our batteries and refresh our souls.
When I was a boy times were simpler (or maybe our parents were naïve). But it seemed that we had lots of freedom and at least we felt safe. Certainly parents then didn’t have the fears that parents do today. We swam in creeks. We road our bikes EVERYWHERE. We drank from the garden hose and peed in the backyard. We played in open fields. We collected soda bottles and returned them to the A&P for the 2¢ deposit. My friends and I would save enough of the deposit money to buy a watermelon (the kind with seeds – the seedless ones hadn’t been invented yet) and we would cut it open on a summer day and gorge ourselves and spit the seeds on the ground. Perhaps that’s why summer makes me so happy. I can relive some of my youth with my grandkids. We can play ball in the backyard and eat watermelon and splash around in a wading pool.
I believe in our world today, more than ever, we could use some happiness. I certainly know that I could. I’m not “sticking my head in the sand” pretending that global warming isn’t real or ignoring the fact that millions go to bed hungry each night or forgetting that racial and social injustice are still rampant in our society. Searching for a little happiness won’t eliminate the political turmoil that currently has a stranglehold on our nation. But I need some summertime to help me put it all into perspective. I need a break from all the unhappiness. I need to play outside and run through the sprinkler and eat too many hotdogs and ice cream cones and LAUGH OUT LOUD.
Maybe then I can get back to the serious business of worrying and praying about all the things that make us so unhappy as a nation; as a community; as a neighborhood; as a family.
In the meantime, let’s be happy! At least for a little while…