When I was a child, summers were magical. They were comprised of moments like this:
Jumping into the alligator infested river in the middle of the night to swim alone in the rippling moonlight, eating cool-pops on the front porch, slurping warm, metallic tasting water from the end of the water hose, climbing oak trees, swinging from vines and crashing to the ground, water balloons, splinters, copperheads and black snakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, bonfires, picking blackberries, thunderstorms, heat lightning, and reaching out into the darkness to catch fireflies with my brother while the stars shimmered overhead and we knew that we were participating in something ancient and miraculous and divine.
I am an adult now. And I've moved away from the woods and the swamp; I live in a city, by the ocean.
I'm more likely to run down the shell crusted beach, instead of a splintering wooden dock, and crash into salty waves instead of slipping into velvety stillness. I'm more likely to drink sangria, eat gluten-free chips and salsa and not get lost among the trees.
But I am still guided by my imagination. I still believe in daydreaming, still believe that reading is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon, and that inhabiting other worlds in my mind is not a means of escape, but simply a better way to experience life.
We don't have fireflies here in the city, but I am chasing much the same thing with my words. When I write, I am stretching back to something ancient and forward to something miraculous. I am seeking the divine in a phrase, in a description, in a character, in a scene.
Summer is still magical.