Finding Summer, Finding Neverland

25 Jun

Every spring and summer, I work at a greenhouse owned by friends of mine.  On my way to work today, I realized it was really, really summer.  I could smell someone grilling.  A few puffy clouds floated in a light blue sky. Kids walked along a sidewalk, laughing and wearing shorts and tank tops. I heard sprinklers and lawn mowers, along with the smell of freshly mowed grass.  Trees are fully leafed out, flowers blooming.

lightning bug

This sensory input triggered summer memories from my childhood: lightning bugs, s’mores, camping, making little dolls from hollyhock blooms.  Lemonade, the chlorine smell of a pool, birthday parties at “The Lagoon;” complete with the creosote smell of the timbers used to create a Robinson Crusoe camp on the river island connected by a footbridge to The Lagoon.  Neighborhood moms in capris, sleeveless blouses and cat-eye sunglasses.  Playing outside until dark and sleeping covered only in crisp, cool sheets and short seersucker jammies while crickets sang.

I love how the brain stores information.  How the sound of a sprinkler and the smell of freshly cut lawns can transport me back in time and bring my childish, sunburned face back into clear focus.  A Neverland of sorts.  The place in my head where I’m still the carefree little person who laid in the grass and decided what animals the clouds looked like.

At a time in my life where I often feel the need to write things down, lest I forget to do something, it’s lovely to have memories vivid enough to bring a smile and a contented sigh.  As I write them now, even more images are pushing at the corners of my mind, each sending a connection to another and another.  Neverland indeed.  First star to the right and straight on til morning.

image credit

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