I nestled up to the counter, my wallet in hand ready to slip out my credit card. My helper’s orange apron with the standard “Home Depot” logo was untied so hung loosely from her neck. She peered into the computer screen in front of her. “Now let’s see. LG is the model, yes. Ah, here it is.” Her unpainted nails touched letters in a spreadsheet. I waited. And okay for the waiting, liking the cool temperature of the box store. “Just be a minute,” she said. “And we’ll get you back out into the sunshine as soon as possible.”
“No problem,” I replied, glancing over at the very large refrigerator just across the aisle from us. “I’m not really a summer gal.”
“Oh, really?” She turned her entire self toward me. “I don’t like summer too! People think I’m crazy here. It’s nice to meet someone else that doesn’t either. I mean,” she continued turning back to the computer screen,”what’s the big deal about going to the lake. People talk how great it is but it’s just a lot work!”
I chuckled. “I get it. It is a lot of work,” I replied, trying to reign in my excitement too, to meet someone in my northern province where wintery days outnumber the hot days two to one at least. “And get this, I finally actually got my lawn kind of nice with fertilizing, watering and all that stuff, and then the ants came marching in! Now I got big yellow patches from trying to kill them. You can’t win in the summer here!”
I noticed our nodding heads were syncing. Ah, to have a comrade in arms who agrees that summer is not a season full of fun in the sun like a beach commercial of happy kids, cottages, lazy dogs, and iced tea in lawn chairs.
It’s a season where the ants can come marching in too, and that is definitely no hoorah.
It’s a season where flowers tenderly planted droop in pots even strategically placed, while the neighbours gardens have House & Home magazine calling to take photos for feature stories titled, “Best Urban Gardens”, or “How to Win the Neighbourhood Garden Prize”.
It’s a season where arms sore from pushing a lawn mower strain to paddle while other kayakers glide by like olympian ice skaters in warm up.
It’s a season where the long summer days mean leisurely dinners on outdoor restaurant patios (if, spotlighted by the summer light, the dusty baseboards, dirty windows, spotty walls, don’t grab attention as that means long hours inside with a rag soaked in vinegar).
No, contrary to when the ants come marching in, summer does not always voice a hooray.
Ah, but…then there’s those days of leaving the house, the neighbours, the city behind, traveling clear roads, and taking that turn not planned.
It’s finding that summer place where flowers bloom perfectly in natural pots of clay.
It’s finding that summer place where cool waters are empty of all except natures play items of rocks and sand.
And the summer place where time is spent leisurely upon banks of rivers where natures dust is spotlighted by the season’s hours of long light.
I must admit, it is most likely my lawn will never be intruder free, or House & Home Magazine calling on me, or my home corners completely dust free.
But maybe it’s time to be present in the season where places of beauty is in a light only summer can bring.
Maybe it’s time to start liking summer after all.
(However, I must admit, I sure wish those ants in my lawn would find a new road to another summer place!)
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. Psalm 104:10-13
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