Friday, June 17, 2011

Maybe I Can Recapture Summer

Finally the sun is peeking through the clouds of the Northwest, and I feeling the hope of a wonderful summer. During my childhood I remember being cocoomed in my twisted sheets, staring at the dark window until the first touch of sunlight hit the panes. We had a rule that no one could get up until the sun did. I'd run outside with an abandon known only to youth and forgetfulness, and spend every second of the day free of the bounds of four walls, even taking my meals beneath the open skies.

We would stay busy building treehouses, exploring in the woods that curled around and connected the yards of surrounding houses to our own. We caught our share of wildlife, Healthy when they came into our care and limping, bruised and thirsty but alive when we let them free. I remember finding baby squirrels that had fallen from their nest, tadpoles that we watched turn to frogs in a mason jar filled with brown speckled water. We once found a crow tangled in yarn and brought the creature to my poor mother who freed it, bloodying her hands with its sharp beak and claws in the process.

As afternoons lazed on we would break into thousands of variations of tag, running just for the fun of it until we were sweaty and worn, which was the point. Then we would knock on the screen door with our faces red and beaded with sweat, begging to turn ont he sprinkler. Still in our play clothes we would rush across the stream of water like Poseidon's jump rope and ultimately unhook the hose until everyone was thoroughly soaked.

As the evening approached we relished the setting sun becau000000se it brought a fire to the firepit which meant s'mores, hot dogs or just burnt sticks which we held aloft like torches as we raced around the grass like mighty Olympians. At last, as the fires gave way to coals, my mother would insist we went inside to sleep. But before dawn, my hunger for the outdoors would awaken long before I was supposed to and I'd stare again at the darkened window, longing for the sunrise.

My question is with the lure of three video consoles, the internet, facebook, Halo Reach, television, netflix and hundreds of other electronic candy, could I help my children find such a summer or is it lost in the past? I'd like to try and it all starts next Thursday. Well, maybe not because I'm leaving for Girl's Camp the following week. But we get home the first of July and then leave on a family vacation. Scout camp is the next week and then two weeks later is Trek. When the kids get home we will have about two more weeks before the wedding in Utah and that trip. As August winds to an end, things slow down just in time for band camp and football and then school begins again. Perhaps we can still find summer in the edges.

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