Most of my friends know this truth about me: I’m not a huge fan of summer. I’m not sure when it started, but summer stresses me out. I think the first strike against it happened when I was around 12, and started developing seasonal allergies…big time. Somewhere starting around mid-April, I’d feel tired, run down, then sneezy, then itchy eyes; but the real kicker was seasonal asthma. I think I could have trooped through if it hadn’t been for that last one. By the time Memorial Day rolled around I was usually a mess. The second strike against it was being kind of pale skinned, which meant that through the first bit of the summer I usually varied between magenta and lobster. Alternately, while my friends were tanning, and looking bronze and healthy, I was developing a fine ‘polka-dot’ tan (i.e. freckles). The third, and probably nail in the coffin strike, was being a bit on the chub side during the time when bikini season was in full swing. Oy. It’s no wonder I was out. By the time my skin stopped burning, and my allergies subsided, it was ‘back to school!’ and so somewhere summer lost a bit of it’s joyful appeal for me. Then by the time I got a job in the grown up world, summer simply added to the above, a lack of ‘summer vacation.’ Thus it was not only a hot, swimsuit season, sunburned, allergy containing blah, it was additionally filled with over air-conditioned offices and mutinous work.
A few years ago, however, one of my friends presented to me a genius idea. She said, she and another friend always had a summer theme. Like, if summer was a party, how would you decorate? Your life? yourself? etc. I was going to Africa in May of that year, and so the obvious theme of my summer was ‘Africa.’ Even though I was broke, I still mentally planned my Africa wardrobe, and my Africa dinner parties etc. But the theme could be anything. For one it was ‘J.Crew’ for another it was a color (last summer, mine was purple.) It could just as easily be a time period, a style (mod? sleek? jazz?). Bare with me, for it seems silly, but somehow having that one little idea of summer, upped my whole summer outlook. It was like summer became a theme party that I would decorate my life with; a whole new adventure to the process. It’s the little things, really. But this was the thing that turned the tide. Summer still isn’t my favorite season, but I really like summer. I like the birds, and the green everywhere, and the warmth of summer. I really do enjoy being warm.
It’s only April right now, but I’ve been thinking about my ‘summer theme’ for about a month. (Don’t judge.) I’ve even been excited about my summer theme. For a while I thought it would be something like, ‘The African Queen’ (even though I had the Africa summer before… but Katherine Hepburn seemed like a whole new set of inspiration. Also I just watched the African Queen again for the first time in my adult life, and so I was freshly inspired.) However, yesterday I came up with a new wave of inspiration: Rainbow. Colour, colour, colour. Yes. Summer is coming, it’s not here yet, but I’m ready. I’m nail ready, and the theme is colour and rainbow, and the promises of provision. I’m inspired. Summer, I think I could learn to like you after all. I’m ready.