Monday, June 13, 2005

Summer Sensations

Wisps of blonde hair dance before my eyes as I look out into the sun. I sit in the middle of the yard where the grass is still patchy, more browns and yellows than green. The sky above me is a soft shade of blue, not brilliant and not bland, remarkable in its quiet way. Clouds cover much of it, like tufts of cotton stretched thin and billowy. When I tilt my head back, I see that they are moving. Slowly they drift south-west, in the same direction as my hair whips and the leaves blow. They rustle, the leaves, and some break free of the trees and fall to the ground.

In the neighbour's yard a flag flaps. The end is frayed and the maple leaf has faded to a dull red that doesn't do it justice. I hear wind chimes that I cannot see. They jingle constantly, but the sound is soft, perhaps muted by the breeze.

I roll up the legs of my capris and offer my pale legs up to the sun. I notice that the freckles on my feet form a pattern around the thongs of my sandals, and that the red polish on my toes has begun to chip.

I am tingling. My neck, my shoulders, the tops of my breasts, they tingle with heat. The sun is working its magic from millions of miles away. My bra strap has slipped from under my tank top and I know that if I don't movie it, I will tan inconsistently. I leave it where it is.

The birds chirp, presumably not at me, but still I wonder what they say.

I look down at the tablet of paper in my lap. The bottom half of the page is obscured by the shadow of my head. When strands of hair partake in the breezy ballet, their shadows move with them, replicating every step, casting darkness over the very words I'm writing.

The heat is thick and the wind does nothing to dissipate it. Even my body has trouble slicing through the wall of humidity. The heat is so palpable you can taste it. My tongue goes dry with its taste, and then explodes with flavours of popsicles (orange), ice cream (mint chocolate chip), and lemonade (pink, with lots of pulp) that I'm remembering from summers long past.

My nose interrupts my reverie. It tells me that dinner is ready 3 or 4 doors down. My stomach awakens to the scent of BBQ and growls suggestively in response. The smells wrap around me like the heat, and I feel the sweat begin to pool behind my knees and in the crooks of my elbows.

I came to write, and did, but not what I intended. Instead I filled the pages (yellow, legal, ruled with blue lines and red margins) with my surroundings. A form of writer's block I suppose, but when Mother Nature offers you her finest painting on the canvas of your backyard, you don't turn your back on it. You drink it in, and then you share it with the world.

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