Summer Break at Sources of Insight



“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and

the lawn mower is broken.” — James Dent

It’s summer.

It’s time for a break.

When I think of Summer, here are a few things I think of  …

  • Catching lightening bugs (though some people called them fire flies.)
  • Driving with the top down in the Jeep, and a few favorite songs playing on the radio.
  • Picking strawberries with Mom.
  • Working out by the lake and wondering just how much pain it takes to gain.
  • Van Halen and “Hot Summer Nights.”
  • Day dreaming as the cloud float by and the gentle breeze whips my hair.
  • Driving to the shore with visions of the beach, the boardwalk, and the sand on my feet.
  • Star-spangled skies and cannon-like booms on the 4th of July.
  • Lying in the grass and learning how the bugs lie there, too.
  • Free-falling at Great Adventure.
  • Roasting marshmallows over a crackling campfire and the smell of wood smoke.
  • Ghost stories that were more corny than scary, except one.
  • The smell of charcoal and the sizzling grill.
  • The sound of a lawnmower in the distance and the sweet smell of grass.
  • Riding roller coasters where as they went down, my spirits went up.
  • Playing wall ball at the little beach and learning how much fun a ball, and a wall can be among friends.
  • Following back roads on my motorcycle, with the Sun on my back, and wind in my face.
  • Crickets and frogs at night singing us to sleep.
  • Fishing in places on a bright Sunny day where it didn’t matter if there were any fish at all.
  • The local carnival, the Ferris wheel, cotton candy, and winning a little goldfish in a bowl.
  • Crab apple fights in the streets and garbage can lids as our only armor.
  • Playing tennis on clay courts under the beating sun, and learning the meaning of “love.”
  • Catching frogs and turtles with nets in a a boat that barely floated.
  • Busy little bees buzzing around the gardens in full bloom.
  • The weirdest insects that I never knew existed.
  • Catching salamanders down by the stream, and the little babbling brooks.
  • Swinging from the rope swing out over the little swimming hole under the bridge.
  • Rock climbing down the cliff, falling, hitting a few trees, and deciding to stick to trees.
  • Climbing high among the trees and getting a better look as far as the eyes could see.
  • Summer movie blockbusters and let downs.
  • Camping and wondering why getting away from it all, and roughing it, just seems so good.
  • Practicing fly fishing in the backyard, and learning how to finesse a fly.
  • Picnics in great open fields, where everybody seems to have no place better to be than right here.
  • Porches and porch swings and screen doors that know how to creak just right.
  • Pool parties and lobster by the bunches.
  • Racing golf carts and boldly going where no golf carts had gone before (or ever should.)
  • Listening to “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and thinking, yeah, today is like that.
  • Lightening lighting up the lake in brilliant flashes of bright white light.
  • Building forts and learning what Private Property means.
  • Watching “I Dream of Jeannie” and wondering what I would do if I ever found a genie in a bottle.
  • Playing Street Fighter II at the pizza parlor and mastering the hurricane kick and Shoryuken.
  • Pockets full of quarters while making my way through Gauntlet.
  • Early morning swimming lessons when the water was too cold, before the Sun was too hot.
  • Italian ice, and wondering if this time I could eat it before it melts down my hand.
  • Hot dogs at Benny’s, and his amazing little hot dog cart on the corner by the road.
  • Summer jobs when it seemed like Summer was not for working.
  • Backyard camping and learning it’s not how far you go, it’s how free you feel.
  • Learning the guitar, and realizing how you’re only as good as you practice.
  • Biking to the magic shop 10 miles away, and learning how Ron’s hands are quicker than the eyes.
  • Riding horses and wondering why it looked so much easier on T.V.
  • Gazing up at starry nights and wondering does anything that’s out there matter more than anything that’s right here.
  • Making a wish upon a star, and then wondering if it didn’t work because maybe it wasn’t really the first star I saw tonight.  It was just a plane.
  • Wondering if I would ever fall asleep, as I lay hot and sweaty in bed.
  • Seeing just how far I could jump from a swing, and survive.
  • Finding out why a tire swing is only as good as the tree it hangs from.
  • Finding out just how dizzy you can get, when you challenge somebody to make the playground roundabout go faster.
  • Playing kickball and baseball in the streets, and wishing the sun could stay up, just a little longer.
  • Chasing the Ice Cream truck down and hoping Mom would say yes, since we caught him.
  • Roller blading too fast and too high down sidewalks, up stairs, and over tables.
  • Reading some of the best books of my life.
  • Exploring.  After all, that’s what Summer is for.
  • Spending lazy days on the beach and wondering if it’s worth growing up.
  • Windsurfing, but mostly trying to stand up.
  • Trying flippers for the first time and wondering where they had been all my life.
  • Lemonade and Iced-Tea by the pitcher.
  • Catching things that probably shouldn’t be caught.
  • Going on a Burger Quest to find the best burgers in the world (or, at least around town.)
  • Crabbing and learning what kind of patience it takes to land one.
  • Vowing to swim with the dolphins only to find out they weren’t actually there.

I hope a few of these things helped you rekindle some of your favorite scenes of Summer.

Happy Summer.

Image by Luis Hernandez.