These past few days have gotten hot in Chicago. The type of hot where the sun is already scorching at 8 a.m. and by 1 p.m. you’re dying to get in water. Pools are hard to come by here, so people flock to the lake or to the splash parks. Harlow and I can barely find green space at the parks these days because they are absolutely full. Everyone has come out of hiding.
That summer feel is in full fledge.
The feeling of endless days and long humid nights. You just want to sit outside for as long as you can to soak up every last bit of it. I’ve tried to pinpoint what it is exactly about summer I love so much, because it’s more than just the hot weather. And then I read a quote by Jim Rash, cowriter of The Way Way Back, and it made complete sense to me.
“We all evolve, but the place we go to in the summer remains the same.”
Summer is the feeling of nostalgia come to life. It’s the moment when you have the ability to enjoy the good old days right as they’re happening.
It’s the long days spent at the pool watching a new generation of kids play the games you once played. Underwater tea party, shark tag, and Marco Polo. It’s the snacks at the snack bar that haven’t changed in years, but for some reason just taste better when eaten poolside with a beach towel around the waist.
The sunscreen covered faces, toddlers asleep in lounge chairs wrapped in towels, and children shrieking for their life as they attempt their first flip off the diving board. The same board where you tried your first flip, certain you were going to hit your head and drown on the spot.
It’s weekends at the lake with friends you’ve known forever sitting around a bonfire. Friends you tried your first beer with, that you went to your first high school dance with, and that knew you as the person you were ten years ago and the person you are today.
It’s the sand in places on your body it shouldn’t be. The heat on your back after a day without enough sunscreen. The restless nights that are too hot to sleep. The crickets chirping. The locusts hissing. The summer beetles clinging to light with every chance they get.
The sound of flip flops on pavement and the sight of lemonade stands at every corner. Kids running through sprinklers. Ice cream cones and push pops and flavored ice sticks.
It’s all of this.
It’s that summer feeling.
Whether your place is a lake cabin, a beach house, your parents house in the country, or even just a place inside yourself, summer gives us that rare opportunity to step back in time and feel things as they once were. And for that brief moment, it’s just how we want it to be.