Monday, July 27th, 2015
SUMMERTIME! SUMMER TIME??? IS THERE ANY?
This is not a philosophical question.
Summer used to mean a broad expanse of fluid time, open-ended–one activity (or no activity) transforming into another with no rush or hub-bub.
Activity meant something that happened on your street, not something you were driven to.
At least, for kids, this was true.
Is it still?
Is Summer timelessness a function of childhood or culture?
Oh, how I want it to be true for kids now.
Because I loved the Summer quality of “enough time” and the gifts it gave me.
There was abundant time to:
–Have an ongoing Canasta contest that ran across weeks. The table stayed set-up on the porch. Scores were kept in blue composition books. Little kids watched older kids play.
–Have a croquet tournament with my best friend that lasted through a whole summer. We were careful to be tied at the end of each day.
–Dream-up an all enveloping world like “Scientist” where we poured water from container to container making magic serum. Tin bouillon tube containers were the best equipment.
–See who could finish a popsicle the slowest. (A pop-sicle had two sticks)
–Decorate bikes with crepe paper wound in the wheel spokes and around the handle bars. Popsicle sticks inserted for click-click sound
–Make a fire fly hotel with everyone contributing their jars covered with wax paper punched with holes and sitting around them in the dark, past bedtime.
–Ride bikes (decorated) around the block one hundred times irritating everyone as we counted and cheered
–Invent games that were harshly refined or given up depending on the staying power of the game to the street as a whole. I will teach my grandchildren one that stays with me called, “I’m Going Away to Smoke My Pipe and I Won’t Be
Back Til Saturday Night”. This was a winner with a witch and a mom and misbehaving kids and magic that turned them into pies.
–Make canals in the sandbox, fill them with water and float Ivory Soap boats in them
I say all this as my family gathers for a week long reunion and I already feel the compressed time for play and connection. May it feel like expanded time for
my grandkids when they look back at lobster on the lawn and the childhood games I will teach them.