16 June 2011

Joys of Summer

Summer officially begins on Tuesday but everyone knows the season starts with the crack of a wooden bat connecting with the red-stitched hardball.  Heat has nothing to do with it, not here where the desert can start shimmering as early as the Ides of March. No, summer is an attitude, the smell of freshly mowed grass, the sound of sprinklers shh-shh-shushing and cicadas buzzing in the trees.

Ah, those Little League days...
Summer is baseball--the more unprofessional, the better. Little Leaguers squealing with excitement when they hit the ball past an infielder, jumping up and down when a teammate crosses home plate, or best off all, standing out in right field watching a butterfly flit over the fence while the game goes on beyond their reach. Even in defeat, the resiliency of acceptance comes with juice boxes and cupcakes.

Now the older boys play as the sun sets and the temperature drops into the range of comfortable. The rich green of the outfield against amethyst mountains, a lone green umbrella of a tree just beyond the right field dugout, the hum of the lights slowly growing brighter all mix with bird and boy whistles and the scent of disturbed dirt in a summertime memory cocktail. These days will flit over the fence all too soon as well, until the next generation picks up a ball.

For now, I'm savoring these evening outings. Yes, the intensity is quite different; losses are no longer easily soothed over with ice cream. But the music plays on: a classic melody of children laughing, mothers cheering, girls giggling, and fathers yelling encouragement while the boys of summer pound out the beat with bats, balls, and gloves against the dirt. 

So chill that watermelon and pack the cooler with bottles of Gatorade. The rhythm of the season is in full swing.


  1. What a lovely description, Jude. We don't have baseball here (in general) so it was very interesting to hear about your kind of summer.

  2. Thanks, Rosemary! I'd like to hear what summer is in Scotland. I know it stays light much longer into the evenings. What's the main somponent that defines the season for you?