Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jeannene's Childhood Summers Freewrite

My last post was my 20-minute timed freewrite on what I used to love about summer. Jeannene and I were playing around with this in our hotel room this afternoon. She has graciously allowed me to post hers here, too, edited only for typos. I would love to see free writes on the same topic from any of you who want to play, too!

"As a child, when spring morphed so slowly into summer and summer was real and now, with dandelion covered hills, mosquitoes buzzing, bare feet, beans to be picked and POOL OPEN signs, I had no concept of it ever ending.  That first step into summer never felt like a path to anywhere ending at a time or place.  It was just a hot, frozen reality, a now with never a thought of later or an end, summer as a child was a real experience, from which you never ponder transitions.  I miss the peace of childhood summers when I was like a dog playing fetch, never thinking my master might tire of throwing the stick or the winds might chill and leaves might brown.  Summer was as much a state of never-ending experience as it was warmth, ice cream, flowers blooming, fireflies, campfires and the smell of chlorine in the bathroom from suits dripping dry night after night.  As a child in summer, I was never plagued with the worry of the bottom of the bowl of strawberry shortcake or the vaguest consideration of having anything more to do the next day than meet my best friend in the nursery to walk to our next adventure. 
Summer, as a child, was the taste of fresh berries and long grass stems between the molars.  Summer was the color of white foam water against the brown & green creekbed and the thousands of shades of red, yellow, green, blue and pink in the beds, in the fields, in the woods and along the road.  Summer was the cool water around my skin, the rough &, at times, cutting dried grass, and the welts & scabs itching & healing and the callouses thickening on the bottoms of my feet and my hands from walking and hoeing.  Summer was the sound of crickets and frogs all night long and the hum of bees and gurgling creeks all day long.  Summer was the smell of earth, the honeysuckle, the odd bitterness of drying swamps & skunk cabbage, the sweat of people and animals, and pies baking.   Summer was a never- ending sensory explosion without any thought further than the taste, smell, touch or delight of the moment.  I miss my summers as a child.

Summer was light, a lightness of heart and bounty of joy that only happens when you think no further than the feel of the slimy toad in your hand, the shared joy of jumping hand-in-hand into the pond with your best friend, the taste of ox roast sandwiches and Methodist Ladies’ cream pies at the fair.  Every year that passes pulls us further from those simple delights of summer to the fear of losing or never experiencing them again.  Childhood summers, with no thought of end, to my adult summers of worry and my incessant temporal awareness leaves a hole in my heart… and a pining for assurance of infinity."

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