Sweet summer. Full and ripe and sultry like a basket of juicy peaches just waiting to be eaten, the nectar running down your chin in all its luscious stickiness. No other season takes me back so fully to my childhood as does summer. I treasure the moments as they come and go like the fireflies that appear so fleetingly in my yard at dusk... I wish I could capture them in glass jars, like I did when I was a girl, so sure that I could read by their light in my bedroom in the dark. Captured fireflies; captured moments.
Fresh cut grass. Gardenias. Cantaloupe. Smells of my childhood that always remind me of those long, lazy summers that seemed to last forever... those days when we were out of school from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Lots of time for riding bikes and building tree forts, for going to the beach or the lake and hanging out at the city pool with all your friends. Lots of time to unwind and just be a kid. Wonderful and magical times. It was okay to have sunburned cheeks and tangled hair and dirty bare feet, to stay up way past your bedtime and play hide-and-seek in your backyard and the neighbor's backyard, too. Even the chiggers and the mosquito bites didn't seem to be all that bad. It was worth it just to be able to run and play outside in the hot summer night, fall into bed with the attic fan pulling the night air over you from the open window by your bed and then sleep the sound and deep slumber of childhood.
So far this summer has been pretty wonderful, too. I am so blessed to have this time off and so fortunate to be able to spend time with my children in the summertime. Our trip to Seagrove this year was especially magical in a beautiful beach house with perfect weather, delicious food, and good company. Nothing better on earth than that. Now, I'm looking forward to going back to Mexico and spending some hot summer days with my sweet little amigos, working at our little school in Nava and teaching Bible school in the evenings. God sure has blessed me a lot. I'm quite sure I don't deserve it, but I thank Him for each precious moment, summer or otherwise, that He allows me to have. I do not take them for granted any longer, although I know I once did. Now, He just keeps making me aware of my blessings in new ways everyday, sometimes with a gentle nudge and other times with a strong push. I am reminded lately of James when he tells us that "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."