Haze, Heat and Memories

I miss the heat waves of summertime on the East coast, the land of collard greens and barbecues and summers so hot you’d melt.

 

I live in the West now, where summer has only just woken up and rubbed its eyes in, realizing that it overslept and it’s time to get the heat on. Don’t get me wrong, I love living here but it’s summer that has me nostalgic. It’s ironic, in that bittersweet way – I was so keen to get away from those hot, hot summers and now I miss them so much I can close my eyes and think of them with no small amount of gratitude.

 

I remember the heat rising off the pavement in waves you could almost touch. I remember the screen doors slamming shut. I remember the sound they made closing, a kind of metallic clash that reverberated when the door wouldn’t shut properly because they never did. The feel of feet brushing along on the hot pavement, where you’d step with the top of your feet and then rub your feet along in the grass, the cool to the heat.

 

If you had to go somewhere you edged carefully onto the seat as it was so hot. If you were unlucky and had no air conditioning then chances are you’d left the windows open “to let the heat out”, you’d say, as though it had option for escaping. You’d make sure you’d park under a tree when you got to where you were going, just so you could get some shade on the steering wheel, the dash, the seat.

 

I remember sun tea jars on porches, the Lipton squares dangling from the top like a veil. Later in the day it would be lemonade in a glass with sweat droplets that you’d hold to your face, your neck, your chin and would simultaneously shiver from and love any errant drops that fell onto your chest. Crickets would be singing the evening away, their legs possibly the only motion that anyone could bear. The air would be full of bits and pieces of dandelion, dust, and sunlight that you couldn’t shake off. Walk inside and the house would be so dark, your eyes too adjusted to the sun. The day felt like the inside of a Van Morrison song and sometimes you were aware of every single pore of your body opened up in the light.

 

Children would be outside with various stages of dried Popsicle and sticky Kool-Aid. If you had a porch swing you’d sit back into it, using your toes to move the swing backwards and forwards. I remember lazy blades from the ceiling fan, the smell of a barbecue or – if you were lucky – a good corn boil all afternoon and into the evening. The evenings were made for lightning bugs if you could still find them, dozily making their way around the yard. There would be baseball on someone’s TV, the sounds of a Molsen commercial on else’s. At night you’d sleep with just a sheet covering you because if you were like me, you couldn’t sleep without some kind of cover, and you’d lie still under the blanket of heat and enjoy the movement the fans made in the air.

 

These were the summers I remember. The younger summers held Slip ‘N Slides and sticky bomb pops. The older summers had wine coolers and picnics in the parks. But they all held heat and memories and haze and that beautiful, magical slam of the screen door that I will never forget as long as I live.
 

Inspiration

A real man is a woman’s best friend. He will never stand her up and never let her down. He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day. He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do, to live without fear and forget regret. He will enable her to express her deepest emotions and give in to her most intimate desires. He will make sure she always feels as though she’s the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to be confident, sexy, seductive, and invincible.

 

No wait … sorry … I’m thinking of wine. Never mind.

 

Regret Nothing

Regret nothing, for it was what you wanted at the time”.

 

They say that you should never regret what once made you happy.

 

Questions: Do you have any regrets? What would you change about your life if you could? Do you believe life is mapped out or are you the captain of your own ship?

 

I used to say I had no regrets, but I think that was in my younger, kiss my ass, selfish days. Who’s above regret, after all? Even Buddhists must have regrets (largely involving the colour orange, I would wager). My regrets run from the small (I shouldn’t cut my hair. Remind me of this the next time I debate it. I’m really a longhaired girl.) to much larger things like getting married at age twenty.

 

Even though I once spent countless nights trying to imagine an alternative outcome, I can honestly say, that I’m glad it turned out the way it did. Months ago, I would lose myself in insidiously wishing, that for once, I could turn back time and change all that happened but every step I’ve taken to get to where I am today is not necessarily a choice, some of my actions were accidental, sometimes I tripped and fell. And yet here is where I am. What comes next, I have no idea, I know I only get a partial say in it. I’m ok with that. After all, how fun is a roller coaster ride you know every curve of?

 

The Best Compliment

A friend recently gave me the best compliment I have received in a while. It is lingering with me so I thought I’d share it. They said:

 

"You are refreshing to be around, someone such as yourself who very rarely or never

can’t get over her problems/inner strife, who can always put the interaction above

the self. It’s as if you have some preternatural understanding of how being with

someone in a good way can be all you need."

 

What a beautifully stated expression to sum up a friend. I’m lucky.

 

Believe

I am not a fan of organised religion. It’s been ages since I went to church. (I have a hard time being stationary in an hour long spiritual celebration).

 

It’s not that I don’t believe in a Supreme Being (because I DO), it’s that being religious and being churchly don’t sum up our righteousness. I have spent the first half of my life being told what to do: to act morally right; to abide by the teachings of old. In an age where I have a freedom to choose, I have committed to myself that I shouldn’t be restricted to rules that tell me how to live  my life. It is but fundamental to be given the right to decide for myself; to learn by mistakes in order to experience the craziness of life. This knowledge, this acceptance to be imperfect and flawed, does not concede to a religious culture. But it’s rewarding in the sense that through all these life-changing processes, I untangle the knots the make me question life and why I am what I am now and what person I want to be.

 

But I will continue to pray as I have always have. I will always believe in prayers.

 

Believe

I am not a fan of organised religion. It’s been ages since I went to church. (I have a hard time being stationary in an hour long spiritual celebration).

 

It’s not that I don’t believe in a Supreme Being (because I DO), it’s that being religious and being churchly don’t sum up our righteousness. I have spent the first half of my life being told what to do: to act morally right; to abide by the teachings of old. In an age where I have a freedom to choose, I have committed to myself that I shouldn’t be restricted to rules that tell me how to live  my life. It is but fundamental to be given the right to decide for myself; to learn by mistakes in order to experience the craziness of life. This knowledge, this acceptance to be imperfect and flawed, does not concede to a religious culture. But it’s rewarding in the sense that through all these life-changing processes, I untangle the knots the make me question life and why I am what I am now and what person I want to be.

 

But I will continue to pray as I have always have. I will always believe in prayers.

 

Focus

I am utterly, incessantly (and occasionally obnoxiously) positive. Just to be clear, I can take virtually any situation and pull something positive out of it.

 

 

I came across this quote and instantly said to myself, “how great is this”. Because the anonymous quote-sayer (and myself) are right: life is way too short to be anything less than happy. And when you surround yourself with people, books, movies, food and other things that make you undeniably happy, it is much harder to focus on the bad in your life. If there is one thing that I have learned in life, it’s that laughter truly is the best medicine. And knowing someone with whom you can regularly share a gut-busting, tear-inducing, whole-hearted laugh is priceless.