It's the first day of summer.
The sun is shining through my balcony, the townhouse is quiet while I work, the promise of weeks of reading are ahead of us, it is something about the season changing that brings out a bit of optimism.
We know the election season, nationally and locally, is a bit nuts. We know there are folks who are being constrained at all sides. We know the economy has only recovered for some. We know the schools are a mess. We know it is hotter than hades in some parts of the country.
We know all that is wrong.
But in one brief moment, as natural light filters into my day, I thought about the promise of summer.
When I was a child, summer vacation began on Memorial Day weekend.
My late father and step-mother would pack up up in that tan and white station wagon for the long trek from Jefferson City to Benton Harbor. The promise of cousins, beaches, and the uncles' BBQ awaited us. We left in the dark of night, as a parent, I now know their strategy. The kids would wake up in a new state and bound into one of the many huge homes that my father's siblings owned. It was exciting.
I remember bike riding and long walks to the pool. Jefferson City was filled with hills. My father insisted upon us knowing how to swim so we would spend some summers in lessons, others at the university for one of their sports camps. I never mastered tennis because my nine-year-old self could not figure out how Love was a zero.
When I think about summer now, I think about longs days of reading, about the youth in the literary circle, about my daughters at TroMo or me at the Custard station, I think about the span between semesters to do a road trip or reconnect with family. I think about exploring a new gallery or trying out some iced coffee. Summer still holds wonder and promise to me. I hope it stays that way, we all could use a little sunshine.