vacation, summer, and back-to-life-ness

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IMG_2967we recently returned from a too-short, but refreshing trip to visit friends in Savannah, GA, where the sun never seems to stop shining, chameleons roam freely in backyards, and the hauntingly beautiful spanish moss hangs in thick canopies providing never-ending shade.

the weather here at home is still turning, slowly, from spring to summer. it’s a gradual transition, so to drive 12.5 hours south and be in full-on summer weather was a bit of a shock to the system. it’s been spring/summer in GA since february, and their vegetable and flower gardens are already producing delicious and beautiful fruit.

this weekend at home, we had summer-like weather in the high 70s/low 80s and lots and lots of sunshine, so it felt like it was time to get our yard ready for outdoor living. we got some flowers and plants, vegetables and seeds, borrowed a tiller from our neighbor, and dug up some lovely dark brown dirt in several areas (adam insists on his very own garden, so a new patch was made just for him and his sunflowers and cantaloupe seeds).  we pulled weeds, mowed the grass, watered the garden, and cleaned up the deck. we enjoyed dinner with friends on our deck, played with other friends in their yard for an afternoon, and fell hard into bed each night.

the winter feels like a long, easy, drawn-out sleep. but summer is full of activity and harder, shorter sleep cycles. the sun is already up at 5:30, and so are we, with the birds and their morning song. i love the feel of dirt under my nails (kept really short in the summer because of all that dirt!), and a cold shower (or dip in the pool) every night, crisp sheets on the bed, and the changing sights and sounds of evening: the song of spring cheepers give way to a conversation between frogs, fireflies darting about in june, and then a symphony of crickets at night in july.

summer is short up here in the northern section of the country. its the friend who visits with gifts for everyone, and then steals away one night and isn’t seen again for 8 months. the older i get, the slower it seems to arrive in the spring. the older i get, the more i feel the need to live where it is nearly always summer. those winter months are harsh on the bones, harsh on the soul.

but summer…the warmth on my shoulders…it’s the best gift of the year.