Do you remember me whining about summer? Do you remember when I was talking about wearing cut-off wool tights under my leggings with my rain boots and two sweaters? You know what, I had not given summer a chance. It was mid-July, I think, and I was thinking: summer could be over before the end of August. I was afraid I might not ever get to really go swimming, and I was queesy about how many greasy little Vitamin D pills I would be taking next winter. I would just like to say to shivering July self: trust a little. It’s coming. Because now, an uncountable day into a September of hot blue skies, summer has come after all, and yesterday was the perfect summer day.
Squinchy, my friend Sarah, her dog Tucker and her fellow Seth, and I spent the day on Whatcom Lake, up here in Bellingham, where we all happen to be. We ate blueberry crisp and avocados, and drank whiskey lemonade and cheap beer. All of us except Squinchy, who dislikes wetting his sleek black coat, went swimming. Not jumping in, yelping, jumping out — but swimming way out in a warm lake. I ate warm blackberries from the vine, and read short stories that made me want to write. A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer, by Christine Schutt, one of my teachers at Sewanee. They’re sad, but her prose is poetry, and the pure language carries me through, and the sun splintered on the lake, the I breathed the smell of someone’s barbeque and did not feel empty. I found an agate, and Tucker, who is as huge and magnificent as a lion, tried to hump somebody’s pug. And now I have a swimsuit tan. Or, sort of a burn-tan, but still.
So this summer goes out to all late-bloomers. Here’s wishing us all glorious Septembers.