It’s officially summer, my favorite season ever since the days when that meant escape from the classroom. Some of my best memories are of the relaxed, unstructured time that was afforded me in those Junes, Julys and Augusts.
But today was as summery as a day can get. Bright sun, easy breeze. I worked in the heat until my muscles loosened and I started to feel the way I felt back then, bright and energetic. Bouyed up.
I was on the highway, taking a dolly back to the U-Haul store and I turned off the air conditioner and rolled back the sunroof and my window down and hung my arm out the window and felt the wind and sun and I turned on some music – Van Morrison, some new song with a fine and very long and loud saxophone jam at the end and I let it blast so loud that the three cars behind me, all of them locked up in air conditioned, airtight cabins could probably hear it. Good for them. If it didn’t touch their souls on this fine day, shame on ‘em. And I remembered that I have a golf game scheduled with four of my best buddies from high school. High school was 45 years ago for me, reader, but the friendships I made then have never been replaced or eclipsed. Our bodies were young, then, but our souls were old. I thought about having one more day with those guys and I was ecstatic. I was surprised at myself, there speeding down the sunny highway in my thirteen-year-old Escape, thinking about times long ago and feeling every bit the young man I once was.
I began to question myself. I always do. Was I feeling too good? Was this inordinate feeling? Was this escapism?
I thought hard for a minute and then I decided no. I have a good life. Wouldn’t trade places with anybody. Worked hard, stood up when it was my time to stand up. Raised two kids who are glad of their lot. But it was okay for me to think so highly of my old friends and the days long ago when we were to each other just what each other needed in that time of strength and doubt and dearest dreams and unformed life.
It’s okay, I decided. Nothing false or misguided about it. This stuff was real and it still is and there is still nothing else like it.
It’s time to be young again. Why not?