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Summer is Coming

More fearsome than winter by far, summer in the South is an acquired taste. We can find beauty in things that are not pleasant, and in so doing, help ourselves.



Well, it’s getting close to that time of year when us Southerners go into hibernation.


Summer is coming.


That simple phrase always sparks more than one collective groan. We still have a few gasps of spring left, which if you’re wise, you utilize to the best of your ability. Once Dante unleashes his inferno, we all turn into quasi-vampires only venturing outside in the early dawn or late evening. And even then, the evening is questionable because to sit outside then requires dealing with those other blood-suckers—mosquitos. Absolutely no one enjoys opening their front door and melting like the wicked witch before getting off the front porch.


You never get used to it. Ever. It is without a doubt, my least favorite season.


But…


It has its charms.


Like lightning bugs. Around July, they swarm and light up the back yard as if it were strung with Christmas lights. They are mesmerizing in smaller groups, floating mid-air, difficult to track in the darkness until their light blinks a foot away on some chaotic yet enchanting, uncharted voyage.


Electricity is palpable in the air when heat produces its own light show. Heat lightning and summer thunderstorms send cascading bolts across the sky. Thunderstorms in other seasons somehow never quite compare to the intensity and wonderment. For the brief moments before the deluge opens, you can feel…relief…peace…and the need to be still.


The produce. Yes! Finally all varieties of fresh fruit are in season, and not just bananas and oranges. Fat, juicy peaches that send rivulets down your chin. Wild blackberries as big as your pinky waiting to be plucked from their perch. A veritable bounty of glory awaits.


Honeysuckle. If you know, you know. Aptly named and a delicious childhood delicacy. Ok, who am I kidding…even now I will dissect the nectar flower by flower, one drop at a time.


The traffic gets lighter and the days get longer. Wafting aromas from grills near and far make your stomach rumble.


And I venture to say that I think I speak for many to say that summer brings tidings of gratitude. Gratitude to live in an era equipped with air conditioning and the freedom to not have to wear layers of petticoats, skirts, and stockings.


The point I am circling around is this. You do not have to love something to find the beauty in it.

When you find beauty in the things you do not love, you take away its power over you. Whether we admit it or not, dealing with unpleasant things affects us. It changes our mood, the way we treat others, even how we move forward.


But if you can appreciate, or even find joy in those things that are not so enjoyable—you release the bonds holding you back. The bonds restraining you from living your best life…simply fade away.


Thank you, summer, for teaching me that lesson. You have your eccentricities and a wonder all unto your own. I can appreciate it and am better for it.


But you are still my least favorite season.


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