Stuff To Do In The Summer
We’re already in the soft part of summer. Thoughts, cool and smooth like marbles, have been rolling around my mind. I have not written any of it down. I’ve worked hard to be flagrantly selfish with my time really. The other seasons are fine for meeting expectations but when the air is all sweet and warm you should do exactly what you want.
I listened to a radio interview recently with a man named Ross Gay, who spent a year writing an essay every day about all the small things in life that delight him. Loitering at a cafe. A kind exchange with your boss. The fore-knowledge of the donut you’re about to procure and eat. The book is pragmatically titled The Book Of Delights. How lovely! I haven’t read it yet but I’m inspired by the idea. In the interview, Gay talked about how when you start noticing everyday things that delight you, you gain an aptitude for it. It’s like building a muscle. Doing sit-ups is always hard until one day it isn’t.
A couple weeks ago Mark and I drove to Colorado. We spent most of our time in the mountains at elevations that left us seeing stars, forever gasping and head rushing. I grew up way up there and it made my primal self feel like itself once again to be walking through all those rustling-leafed aspen glades. Summer vacation — more specifically the ability to take a summer vacation — is no doubt a delight of the highest order. But the trip called forth plenty of tiny delights — the everyday kind that could and should make up my own Book Of Delights.
Like crawling in the tent with the dog and cozying our way through a wicked afternoon thunder storm. Unsettled air is a precious commodity. You can soak in the wild ions and feel electrified. As the booms got louder, Jedda’s ears rotated like satellite dishes and her eyes grew round. We all inched a little closer. An hour later, a sunbeam shot through the tent and we knew it was over.
Like drinking a beer in the afternoon with my mom. In the heat and sun, over food-truck Mexican, there is no urgency and the vibe is authentic celebratory relaxation and the conversation meanders in an inspired way.
Like watching the sun rise over an empty meadow. The wall of golden light moves like a whisper across the grass, setting the seedpods on fire as it goes. You keep very quiet as you watch. This process is a touch spiritual, a tad mystical. You feel like you’re seeing behind the curtain, glimpsing the ineffable. Some secret miracle. And just like that it’s daytime.