Friday, June 29, 2007

Which Has More Memories for You? Summertime or the School Year?

Summer is now open!
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
I was reading, recently, a collection of the summer memories of many people and was struck with the detail: "I remember riding my bike and it was so hot that my popsicle ran down my elbows." Or, "I remember the smell of the ocean all night long."

I was thinking that while I do have many very specific memories of school, the smell of the library paste, the sound of the bells, the crunch of the gravel underfoot on the playground, it seems that I have many more memories of summer.

Summer is only three months, and yet, it seems to be what dominates my memories.

I remember my sister, only about two at the time, suddenly floating out on a rip current at Belmont Shores, and the look on my mother's face (that indicated to me that this was serious and not that my sister had suddenly decided to swim out to the center of the bay) as she rose from her towel and dove into the water to swim out to my sister, the floatie.

I remember the myriad times that I stubbed my toe on the rough driveway while running barefooted.

I remember walking along the bay to the library in Belmont Shores to get arms' full of books, my cheeks stinging a bit in the evening air due to their being sunburned, and the smell of those wonderful, delicious books as we trudged back to pile them on our beds and read them all night.

I remember playing outside until 9 PM, and climbing trees and skinned knees, and traveling, all of us, crammed into a station wagon with no air conditioning, the windows all opened and the flapping echo-y sound of that and the heat as we crossed the desert, and the deviled eggs, and falling asleep in the car.

I remember eating the apricots off our trees, and sparklers, and lemonade, and sand in our swimsuits, and diving under waves, and drawing and writing all day long.

I remember swimming in pools until I couldn't breathe anymore due to the chlorine, and swimming in the ocean until we were wrinkled and shriveled and shivering and our lips were blue and our fingernails, too, and saying, "please, can't we stay out longer?"

I remember watermelon seed fights, and water balloons and not wearing shoes except when totally necessary, and utterly required.

And what do I remember about school?

Um, I think I would like to go back to thinking about summer for a while.

What about you?