The best things for me have always happened between the months of June and August. Even as I get older, summer holds a certain nostalgia from my youth that I will always, always hold onto. I miss the summer days on Mayberry Drive spent in the backyard swimming pool. I can still hear my Mom calling out that lunch is ready. My sisters and I towel dry and run across the hot grass to the back porch, finding recluse in the shade. Our hair smells of chlorine and sweat. As we open the door to the house, we’re greeting with a gust of cold AC, sending shivers down my sunkissed spine yet equally soothing my warm freckled skin. The aroma of mom’s homemade mac and cheese fills the air, while dad yells out to keep the door closed so that the air stays in. When I close my eyes, it all still feels real.
I’ve tried to recreate these moments in my adulthood, but it never quite compares to my childhood memories. Summer, to me, is a feeling – it can’t be called upon at will. It’s a combination of senses, freedom and feelings that in turn create the season. I’ve found new routines that have and always will make me love summer, but nothing will ever be the same as those summer days on Mayberry Drive.
Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends. — Darell Hammond