This is summer.
Water-logged air, heavy and thick. Salty, slick, and sticky skin.
Hands wiping, fanning, swatting swarms of gnats, smacking, smearing the bloodthirsty remains of mosquitos.
The wafting fragrance of fresh cut grass, watermelon, chlorine, and the plastic of pool rafts.
Exposed limbs and toes, flip-flops slapping calloused heels, frizzy hair, pulled into buns, pony tails, and braids. Makeup melting, mingling with the SPF 15.
Rushing waves, where the sea meets the sky. Wrestling with unrelenting umbrellas and beach chairs, the grit of sand between toes, between teeth, stretched lycra and floppy hats, the sharp crunch of seashells. The laughter of gulls, of children giddy on sunshine, and grownups with daiquiris and Coronas on ice. The sting of green aloe on angry red flesh.
New Eagles SOARing, gold name tags and embroidered shirts, sweating under the sun, shivering in frigid computer labs, holding to the hope of leaving work early.
Eager to read the angsty turmoil of teenagers, the ragged-edged dreams of moms, and the clothesline chitchat of suburbia. Beach books. Summer reads. Best done through the tinted lenses of foggy sunglasses.
Sequestered in dark living rooms, curtains drawn, AC rushing over little boy legs, splayed across a blanket on the floor, Disney movies and an endless loop of Dora the Explorer, too hot to leave the cool confines of the house.
Popcorn, potato chips, hotdogs, bar-b-que, corn on the cob, iced lattes, sweet tea, fizzy sodas and sugary Kool-Aid. The foods of the season.
Transition. Aging from one grade to the next. The promise of new clothes, ink pens, and notepads. Fear, uncertainty, the brink of newness, and the allure of boots and bonfires. Bringing it to an end.