In truth I hate summer.
I hate its heat and humidity, and the almost constant glare of the sun which makes dark glasses and wide brimmed hats and soft cotton clothing with bandannas a necessary uniform of all Southern men and women.
Then again there is much I do like and enjoy about summer. The early mornings on my deck just after sunrise, the overnight breezes cooled with the scent of the marsh and oak mast and how the Spanish moss shifts and swings with the slightest caress of the wind and how the birds sing in subdued cadence as if still adrift and lost in an early morning dream.
I like how the summer brings us the smell of fresh mowed lawns; the rich cut odor of green. The first of season farmed picked watermelon, hard and heavy, and when thumped, promises that rich and cold sweet taste of our lost youth.
The laughter of children as they jump and play and splash in kiddie pools hidden within the back yards with their plastic beach balls and the way the little girls long hair plasters to their cheeks and the silly giggles that make me smile and remember.
And shade....shade and shadows make summer bearable especially when afloat in an old wooden jonboat with your canepole and a small can of worms and the waters are tea colored with tannin and how the cork slips gently beneath the water and you feel the strong pull of a bluegill and as you fight the fish you can smell the musty sharp scent of the swamp and how the suns warms your shoulders and you know for certain this is the best day of your life.
When I was young the best part of summer were the evenings, the quiet moments with just the song of crickets and tree frogs and fireflies; those little winks of bright green. The joy as we chased and bottled their glow for our bedroom and how we feel asleep to a gentle yellow green night light of dreams. Fireflies are the fairies of soft summer evenings.
I like too how in the deep dog days of summer, when I'm out in the yard and if I stand quietly still, I can hear the cicadas with their tree hugged screamed mating song, and if I'm lucky, I might catch an occasional long distance and forlorn whistle of the Bobwhite quail, which evokes memories of my childhood summers and long naps in a hay field just before the late afternoon thunderstorms came charging in off the coast.
Then we have Independence Day - the best part of summer. This day, the forth of July, is to me the essence of summer. The birth of our great country with its fireworks, and backyard grills with sweet brambly sharp toned odors of burgers and hotdogs. The backyard tables dressed in checkered cloth loaded with watermelons and slaw and bakedbeans and ice cold pitchers of tea and metal buckets filled with beer.
I love best the evenings after all the food has disappeared and the chairs are moved just so for the evening of fireworks and fun. I like how the children gather and each after the other light their little sticks of sparklers and how the cheery red bits shower down and how the little girls scream and the boys dance and tease each the other. I love the distance boom and heavy thunder when the main show begins out over the water. It's not unlike warfare of a long now almost forgotten nightmare of battle. A battle of remembrance for those ghost of the night responsible for our celebration.
Really, I do so hate summer.