Monday, May 24, 2010

Walkin' on Sunshine

What sunderful days!

After far too many unseasonably cool, cloudy, damp days, the sun has finally ventured out to play. [ADHD Writer's Note: I suspect the sun had been out partying with Jupiter, who came back from their little soiree without a belt. Psssshhh. No, I'm not drinking tonight. Here's the scoop on slutty Jupiter. Or to summarize: Jupiter goes behind the sun for a while. Jupiter comes back without one of her belts - the bottom belt, I might add, as I elbow you for effect. Astronomers don't know what happened but all agree sun is a playa'.]

Regardless of where the sun has been, I was a happy, happy girl to see it return to Kentucky. It was needed on my porch. Fo sho.

I hate to admit that I'm such a victim of seasons and weather, but alas, I am (Also - who says "alas" anymore? When did I start channeling Du Maurier's Rebecca? Before long I'll be dreaming I went to Manderley again..).

Anyway, when the light starts to change in October, my temper grows shorter and my mood cooler with each passing day. I honestly try to embrace winter, but nah. I no likey the cold. Or naked trees. I even joined the Facebook group A-yo, Winter, I'm Gonna Let You Finish But Summer is the Best Season of All Time - because I love it when the seasons get all Kanye and talk smack to each other.

Spring is a wonderful time, and when she comes, I tolerate her cooler, wetter days as the world awakens and greens.

But what I really, really, really love is a Southern summer (which unofficially begins the end of May). I want to have my morning coffee on the front porch in my shorty pajamas (sorry, neighbors). I want to slip on a sundress and sandals and feel the sun on my shoulders. I want to sleep beneath a thin sheet on a sultry summer nights as an orchestra of crickets lulls me to dreamland...

You get the idea.

This weekend, when the sun came out and the mercury rose past 80 (and then 90!), I was blissed out. I had been a little sad, so the sun couldn't have come to my rescue at a better time. Sure, my house needed to be scrubbed; laundry needed to be folded; and the blog needed to be updated, but I decided to live in the moment and embrace the sunny weekend with my family. Everything else could wait.

And it did.

On Saturday, I woke slowly - languished, even! - as sunshine filtered through the sheers. Soon, its golden fingers of light beckoned me outside (I totally get why Jupiter gave it up to Sun), and I enjoyed hearty coffee and conversation on the front porch with my husband as squirrels chattered and fussed at our cat.

Later, I perused garden centers and filled my van with my finds. I do not have a passion for shoes, makeup, jewelry or handbags. But put me in a garden center, and hold onto your Visa, baby! That afternoon, I helped my spouse dig up our front-yard landscaping and transplant it to other areas (Okay. Okay. I pointed and told him where to put stuff).

In the garden, I mulched and I deadheaded (plants, that is, not alien babies from Jupiter that I'm hiding in my basement - so far as you know). And I planted herbs, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that will make bowls of summer salads and buckets of salsa later this season. I even plucked lavender and lemon balm - already in full bloom - and rubbed them on my neck and the inside of my wrists (because it smells so, so much better than anything from a bottle).

Before dusk, I took the kids to the park, where they laughed and dared each other to jump from swings, then tumbled and rolled in the grass. We hiked a nature trail bordered by sassafras and honeysuckle vine.

All weekend, I drank sweet tea by the gallon. I wore sundresses and sandals and ate a hot fudge brownie ice cream sundae bigger than my head (tip: the sundress is very forgiving).

I watched my son study a silver-tipped dragonfly that perched forever on a Stella de Oro daylily.

I shared the front-porch swing with my daughter and took her swimsuit and sundress shopping, marveling at the stunning young woman she sudden is.

As the sun set yesterday, I sipped a small glass of shiraz on the porch swing, feeling sunkissed and serene.

My friends, I don't know how you describe perfection, but last weekend was sublime. As I soaked up the sun, I forgot that it had been raining for days on end. I forgot that I had been sad about something.

I've told you before that I'm a girl who is grateful for simple pleasures. And I was grateful this weekend for the simple pleasures of a Southern summer.  The days were full of the little moments that remind me that these are the best days. Right now! If you worry about tomorrow or live in the past, you're gonna' miss all the good stuff.
You can't see it, but I'm toasting you with a glass of sweet tea.

Happy, happy summer!

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