June has always been bittersweet. It is the half-way mark for this twelve months. My birthday rolls around and I tick another year off on the march toward old age. June means the next three months will bring warmth and outdoor activities, the fleeting time of sun-kissed skin and bare toes.
I still feel the joy of the school year ending. The relief of a kid let out of the routine. Even though my routine doesn’t necessarily change, it feels like a load is lifted and life holds the promise of lazy days and freedom. Here in the Northeast, it means a complete change of wardrobe, the lightening of layers, the turtlenecks and sweaters exchanged for soft cotton t-shirts, faded and worn to perfectly drape. There are hours of light left in the day when the work routine ends. Evenings of open windows that bring the gentle songs of toads and crickets. I am a summer baby, a mercurial Gemini with the happy twin who starts as a fleeting shadow and grows longer and stronger, fed on a season of bounty. Fireflies and grass between my toes, take me back to childhood imaginings. I want a spanking white pair of Keds sneakers to mark the start of this half. I long for airy sundresses that just graze my skin. I crave the itchy discomfort of that first blush of sunburn. I want skinned knees and blistered heels, feet that toughen from barefoot walks on gravel roads.
There is a lot of looking at the second half right now. This glass is half-full not half-empty; and besides, aren’t we all that kid in the orange gingham sun-suit and floppy hat riding a swing?