The Approach of Summer

IMG_4003 What is the approach of summer if not the beginning of a journey into heat and languor and unhurried long days?

No matter how hard I’m working, when it’s summer (or almost summer) that work has a lighter feel to it, more air gets in, more light does. (I don’t care if it’s an illusion, it’s an illusion I love.)

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In 1980 my best friend Gina (who in 2015 is still my best friend) and I drove cross-country in my little blue bug. We traveled from spring into almost summer. She was 24 and I was 23. Young. But then every summer I’m young and as the poet Anne Sexton wrote, “We wore our bare feet bare.” Still do.

In the photo album I made of that trip, there are my early attempts at poetry. One is comprised of road signs: “Do not straddle lanes” is what the sign said. What I added was “Do not get out and dance on them either.” I was learning my way and pushing against what needed pushing against. Still am.

IMG_3997My best memories of that trip are pulling off the highway because I saw a rushing river below and insisted I had to get in. I think Gina paced along the shore waiting for her crazy friend who’d stripped at water’s edge.

Driving in Queens, New York, at a stop sign a man got out of his car and walked up to me and began screaming, “Whose a your father? I’ma gonna kill your father!” What had I done?

IMG_4008We bicycled from my grandmother’s Astoria home, crossing the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan, and we were free and we were best friends. We laughed together and drove together and flipped most every “no” on its head.

Here’s to dancing on the lines and between them. Here’s to summer and warm air on your face and breeze and to having best friends.