“Let’s go dancing!” I’ll say because I’m happy and want an excuse to wear a pretty dress.
But we won’t actually go dancing because I don’t dance the way you should. I just like to flounce about and spin.
So we’ll do that instead.
I’ll wear my long cream dress with the small pink and purple flowers, and if it’s sunny, I’ll wear my straw hat as well. I’ll be spring and summer and warm and happy weather personified. And you can be it, too.
So go on! Grab your favorite clothes and find a patch of grass and spin in a dizzy circle with me!
I’ll laugh and laugh and laugh and probably fall over once the spinning gets to be too much. And then I’ll lie on the grass and watch the world tip back and forth until my inner ear recalibrates.
Next, we’ll eat popsicles, the good kind, the type made with real frozen fruit and laugh as the melting juice covers our arms and drips down to our elbows. The last little bits will inevitably fall off the stick, hopefully into our mouths and not onto our laps or the ground. But even if they do, it’s no matter. We can always have another, and washing machines were invented for a reason.
We’ll rinse our arms off with the hose and compared dyed tongues. I’ll end up with wet patches on my dress, of course, but that’s no matter! That’s what the sun’s for, right? World’s best dryer.
And did I mention that this adventure is no-shoes-allowed? It is! All the better to feel the cool grass under our feet, the tickle of the blades in between our toes, and the hot, stinging concrete as we dash along the path or street. But step carefully! You don’t want to get a cut, though you have to admit that the slight danger is part of what makes shoelessness alluring.
Want to go to the beach with me? I can show you all of my special places. First, we’ll run towards the water and leap over the clumps of seaweed past the high tide mark.
Alright, roll up your clothes, so they don’t get wet. Now, stand here and feel the waves hit your ankles. Cold, isn’t it? See the way that water washes away the sand at your feet, letting you sink down a few more inches until the sand feels as fluid as the water.
But watch your hem there! Don’t let it get to close!
Come on! And move quickly, too–this part isn’t as fun if you walk. Okay, so just follow me, and be careful. If you aren’t, you could get hurt.
So do you see the end of that rock jetty? Now, we can’t go out there, it’s too dangerous, but we can go this far. It’s just a third out, and isn’t it fun to leap from rock to rock? If you go any farther, they get slippery and covered with seaweed and algae, and you could fall and break your leg or stung or pinched by something mean. But here, we’re safe.
Sit down for a moment. Feel the rock underneath you. You can prop your feet up on the one in front of you, if you like. Yes, just like that! That’s my favorite spot.
Let’s just wait a while and watch the ocean, let the sounds of everyone else fade away until it’s just you and the water and the rock. Don’t worry about the people playing with the beach ball or the squeals of the children running in and out of the water. Ignore the yells of the kids playing with the skimboards. I’m going to be quiet, too.
Just sit and be.
Once you’ve sat there long enough to feel almost dopey with relaxation, get up and follow me again! There are plenty more things for us to see this afternoon.
Of course, we could take a long walk down the beach, and I could try to add to my collection of rocks that look like seals (Okay, I only have one, but it’s lovely and needs a friend.).
But there’s a baseball game starting at the high school, and we just can’t miss it. And no, it’s not a high school baseball league. It’s a million times more exciting than that. It’s part of this special, selective summer league for college players to play against the best players their age and get scouted. They live with local families, and they all play in this big tournament. Our town won a few years ago, and I’m think that this year’s our year again.
If you look right behind the screen in back of homeplate, you can see the scouts. They wear plain caps, so no one will know what team they’re from (even though everyone already does. Word gets around quickly, doesn’t it?), and they write things on clipboards. I’m sure their notes are very important. But for right now, pick up your beach chair, and follow me. I know the perfect place for sitting.
Want a hot dog? I’m going to eat two, and I’ve got plenty of ketchup, sauerkraut, and mustard, if you’d like those as well. Go ahead, eat as much as you’d like. There’s soda, water, and juice, but no beer. This is a school field, remember? And don’t mind me while I score the game in this notebook and jump up and down every time something exciting happens. Did you see that catch?!
We’ve won! We’ve won! And yes, I know you’re tired and that the fog is rolling in, making it hard to even see the exit from the parking lot, but don’t you want some ice cream? We can’t count those popsicles as dessert, now can we? They were just frozen juice, after all.
I’m getting Milky Way, and maybe you should, too. But there’s a huge chalkboard up there with all of their homemade flavors. Everything here is good. Just remember that when they say jimmies, they’re talking about what you probably call sprinkles, and frappes are milkshakes and don’t actually have any coffee in them.
Isn’t that delicious? I know that I’ve probably got chocolate on the tip of my nose and the scoop is threatening to fall off the cone, but isn’t this just the best day ever?
We can walk home from here, past the kite shop that might still be open and is the best place to buy toys and the most spectacular kites. If it’s windy tomorrow, I’ll show you mine. It looks like a dragon and has a tail that stretches on for yards.
There’s a trash can to your left, if you need to throw away your napkin. And I really should go to the post office in the morning to check my mailbox, even though I can never open the darn thing on the first try.
And there’s the bar/pub which is showing the wrap up commentary on a MLB game. If you feel like staying up, we could watch the rerun at one a.m. But you’re probably tired. It is late after all.
But before we call it a day, look up. Throw your head all the way back and look at the sky. Can you see the real Milky Way? I’m not talking about my slowly melting cone of ice cream. Look at all of those stars! Makes you feel small, doesn’t it?
Sometimes, when I look up at the night sky, I get scared by just how little I am. In the grand scheme of things, I can be awfully insignificant. But then, I turn my gaze to everything back here on earth, and I’m reminded that it’s all rather relative. I’m not tiny. And you’re not either.
We get to do fantastic, amazing things, and run around barefoot and climb on rocks and stand in the ocean and eat popsicles and ice cream and watch baseball games. And tomorrow will be just as wonderful. I’m thinking about taking a motorboat out of the harbor to go look at the seals and explore that inhabited island a mile or so off the coast.
But for now, we can watch the stars and marvel at how clear a night it is and what great a day it was until it’s time to say goodnight and go to bed. It won’t be too long until we can go on another adventure.
You can also find me bopping about on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/.