It’s a Cicada summer full of hot intentions. The temperature is 92 and its evening…a sultry night with whirring fans, exchanging one hot breeze for another. The swing creaks with well-worn songs decades old; bluesy numbers full of yesterday…
My first remembrance of the “swing music” was on my Mamaw’s porch. It was a small Kentucky porch crammed with welcome. The swing seemed always to be in motion scraping through the humid air as it moved toward the steps, humming back until it brushed the roses behind it.
In mid-afternoon I tried to claim a spot on the swing when the adults gathered to dab their days efforts into damp hankies and slow talk. Often I would be relegated to take a nap during their visits. Reluctantly I would pile into Mamaw’s bed, plump with feathers, while a small fan delivered drafts of air across me.
The screen door, full of its own virtuoso, allowed the voices on the porch to drift into the the house and scamper down the hall to the room where I rested. Mostly it was nonsense to a child as they spoke of weather, work ethics, and taxes. But the soft percussion of their distant voices and the ice cubes clinking against frosty tall glasses of sweet tea would soon rock me to sleep.
When I would awake I’d stare at the peeling wall paper, yellowed and curled by the years, as I listened for sounds of my people. The refrigerator door, the swish of a broom across the wooden floor, and green beans being snapped into bowls…and then I’d know the porch congregation had dispersed and the swing would be all mine. Mine. Mine.
I would swing away the late afternoon until it was time to chase fireflies…
Oh, summer you are utterly delicious dripping watermelon seeds and ice cream mustaches down the faces of wide-eyed dreamers…may it always be so.
What sings summer in your world?