Tuesday, June 20, 2006

SUMMER IN THE CITY

Summer is my favorite season. Always has been. Summer. The word evokes carefree days, tree climbing, warm evenings and longer twilights. Endless days at the beach – sand in my hair, salt crusted on my skin, sunburned arms, the smell of Coppertone – body surfing, boogie-boarding, floating on my back; blue blue sky above and no horizon until I find the shore and see the sand stone cliffs with sage and cactus and aloe clinging to the edges. The sound of waves crashing, seagulls calling, kids running with beach-towel capes. Reading for hours in my beach chair, dozing off eventually and dreaming the story – not knowing where I am when I first wake up.

I long for those days. Days of youth when school was my job and summer was my life. I live in a city now – one surrounded by water but with very few saltwater beaches. And no waves. Lake Union, Lake Washington, Greenlake, the Ship Canal, Elliott Bay, Puget Sound – not a wave to be found. No time to ride them either. The water is too damn cold anyway. Not that I’m complaining – it’s a beautiful place and I love living here. If we’re lucky, we get a good summer too. Clear skies, sunshine, not too much rain.

Still. I long for a beach that stretches for miles; and months for the beach and I to become acquainted.

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