They settle down on a neighborhood with the gentle ecstasy of flying Frisbees and shared tomatoes. They cause a kind of intoxication, but a wholesome, allowable one. They’re perfect for sneakily putting bouquets on the doorstep of the lady who found and returned your dog countless times, and for taking said dog for a run in the field even though you have more important things to do, just because he needs his doggie dose of a summer evening to prevent more jailbreaks.
I love summer evenings. I always have.
The memories: Fireflies in a jar. Treats from the ice cream truck. Unforgettable games of hide and seek tag with handsome boys much older than one would dare talk to in, for instance, a store. Running like the wind. The smell of charcoal fires. Watermelon seed spitting fights. Family. Friends. God.
I’m wrestling with some deep, existential sadness lately. I’m a melancholic songwriter who has learned to expect my feelings to fall through the floor from time to time, lying in a painful blob somewhere in the region of my solar plexus like a beached whale for about a week, when finally the serotonin receptor-builders in my brain kick into high gear and the whale miraculously slips back out to sea. I know this sadness will resolve, but right now it’s sitting heavy in my soul.
And the antidote, my therapy, is summer evenings.
I think God is trying to tell me, through the perfect weather, the simple pleasures, and the nice neighbors, that sometimes all I have to do for Him, and for anyone else, is enjoy His gifts. To look up to heaven, and say, “Thank you.” To be suspended in time, grateful that not all is sad, desperate, or disappointing, that’s what He wants for me tonight.
I think I’ll take it.