Thursday, June 17, 2010
A Summer's Eve
It's early evening and I'm walking Elke. I'm struck at how my neighborhood reminds me of the one I grew up in; Lakewood, Ohio. The houses are close to each other but most are not as old as most homes in Lakewood. Some driveways are stone and gravel and there are places where there are no sidewalks. I'm delighted by the timelessness of walking here. It could be the 80s, the 60s. I love it. It's front porch kind of place.
The sound of lawnmowers. The sweet smell of cut grass. Moms calling kids, people taking, the dim sound of a T.V. show through an open window. A couple arguing. Kids playing ball or biking, no helmets, hair tossed by the breeze. Some boys stop their game of pitch to pet Elke. We are greeted by some folks sitting on their porches or decks; by the shirtless guy working on his car. Someone is grilling and my nose twitches. It's just-right warm with a light evening breeze and the sky is filled with sunset-touched mountains of clouds against a deepening sky. The lawns are a velvety, plush, deep green carpet to lay down in. The street lights aren't on yet. It's dusk and the sky is putting on quite a show if you look up. There's nothing organzied, no quotas, no schedule. Not now. Just as it should be on a summer evening.
As the sky darkens, almost at the same time the streetlights come on, the flickering fairy lights of fireflies appear. If there were any doubt that it's summer, their on-and-off glow signals its arrival.
It's quintessential Midwest Americana at its best. If you want to see the simple beauty of life in America, it's here. In our old neighborhood. If I were a soldier, sailor, Marine, it's this sense of home that I'd long for and I'd fight for. I'm filled with gratitude that I live here and even in our insanely fast world, there are moments where people slow down and just "be." It reminds me of the importance to be "in the moment." If only for one summer's eve.