July 8, 2013 – Drinking Summer
I want to sip mint juleps all day long. I’ve never actually had one (I think I read about them in The Great Gatsby) but it seems the proper kind of drink to sip from a back porch in the waxing days of summer while listening to the locusts hum and watching the insects sip out the nectar from the open lips of flowers. Some days I work. Some days I sit in the sun and let my skin turn brown. Other days I do both. I’ve come back to Oregon. It’s not the Oregon of Autumn with the drizzling rain, the short, short days, and the eternal heading into darkness. No, this is an Oregon of baby blue skies, sunlit patches of grass, plum laden branches yearning for relief, and the melodic irregularity of wind chimes.
“How long do you plan to stay?” my friend asks when I arrive.
“As it stands,” I say, “unless something happens between now and then my money will run out around the end of September. At which point I’ll return to my parents’ house and rethink my future.” This is my life. A little bit of certainty, a lot of uncertainty. Just now I’m in one of the perfect moments. One where I’m allotted time to work in peace because I’ve saved up for it. Where the future is far enough away to seem magical and not frighteningly impending. Where the warmth of summer is as restful as a cat sleeping the afternoon away.
There is only the here and now. The breeze stirs the trees to life. The whirring of traffic filters in over the fence. The locusts start their songs back up again. I sit and watch the spiders wait in the center of their webs, the hummingbird hover in front of the hot lips salvia, and the shadows shift with the spinning of the earth. Unlike the biblical lilies of the field I do toil a little. Weaving sentences together like silvery webs, stringing them into paragraphs, connecting sticky thought to thought. And then, in between words, I dream about mint juleps and think that summer will—it must—last forever.