I sat under the clouds and looked up at the sky. Slowly they moved above me in a summer melody. The grass, under my nearly naked body, was soft, smooth and deeply green. I love the smell of grass. The view wild white caps from the wake of all the boats on the East River.
And in that a moment, I am transported to a summer, 36 years ago. The sound of lawns mowing and the Mr. Softee truck. The lifeguard whistle and shrieks of laughter. The chirping sound of crickets as the temperature rises. It was then that the biggest concern was how many times our parents would yell before we had to come in for the night.
To Be a Kid Again.
Every cloud that drifts by sparks another memory.
The only thing on the schedule was fun. I can still smell the crispy and delicious fried dough and powered sugar from our end of year Catholic School carnival. Pool days, bbqs, go karting, wiffle ball, croquet, Slip n’ Slides…oh my! The high pitched excited squeals. The flurry of activities only stopped, temporarily, when the familiar chimes of Mr. Softee; chasing the truck down the street just for a Nutty Buddy. As the day grew and dusk turned to darkness, the fireflies would light up lawns like a Bon Jovi concert. Long, summer days, like a favorite song on repeat, until the next school year.
Any Given Summer.
There was plenty of time for daydreaming. Our phones were wired to a wall. The idea of mobility was referenced only as far as our legs and/or bikes would take us. Our imaginations went as far as we let them go. A summer day never wasted. All of our five senses were equally utilized. There was no reason to plan. Long on friends and fun, short on responsibilities. A moment was never wasted. Our past and futures were equally insignificant. The daily activities were never planned. A collective belief that fun was the only currency that mattered.
How gloriously innocent it was.
The Road Less Traveled: Adulthood.
We had a few good years of that glorious innocence. Life happens in stages for a reason. Our youth is innocent, deliberately shielding us from experiencing emotions too heavy for our care-free brains to handle. We focus on what is immediately in front of us, appreciating face value. As kids, we aren’t blind. The fun we seek comes with consequences. As we mature, there is plenty of time for depth, and deciphering intentions. The slow build of responsibility pairs nicely with the complexity we experience in situations and human behavior. By the time we are adults, our pasts become a sweet reminisce. The purity in those youthful moments can become the path to mindfulness when the going gets tough.
Laying on that grassy knoll, staring up at the clouds, I wouldn’t go back in time. We age and acquire wisdom. The chapters of our youth become saturated with a new patina, bonded to help mold and teach a new generation without spoiling the youthful innocence we know is sacred.
Music mood: Bryan Adams: ” Summer of ’69”