Summerblood

I have summer in my blood, and it’s only April. This makes everything brighter, and I cherish this time when it happens each year. A good portion of my energy and enthusiasm seems to hibernate over the winter, and around this time each year, it wakes up with a jolt.
Now I’ve read of what it’s like to have Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I don’t know that this is that per se, mostly because the actual winter “low” is so subtle, and comes over so gradually, that I don’t usually notice it. What I DO notice is how abruptly the winter skin sheds. It usually just takes a few days of consistent sunny warmth, where the nights don’t even get all that cold, and where I have been outside and physically active.
And all of a sudden, like a shot, I’m awake. All of my blood is awake. Everything is joy and summer and shimmer and climbing and running and singing out loud. I want to start all the projects, do all the chores, hike all the mountains, cook all those recipes I’ve never tried, and climb all the rooftops.
This happens every year, like clockwork, and it is so strong an noticeable an experience that you would think I would remember that it was going to happen. But I almost never do. Suddenly, mid-spring, I’m zipping around like the world is my oyster and I haven’t the faintest idea why. Then, it occurs to me, it’s been warm and sunny for a few days on end. I’ve shaken off the groggy winter coat and I feel lighter and faster and stronger.
The thing is, I never realize that I was groggy and sluggish until that moment that the sun suddenly burns off the fog. Then I think “Is this what I’m really like? Well I can do ANYTHING. I’m Peter Pan. I’m sheer joy!”
This summerblooded high doesn’t last at such intensity for very long, but it does settle into a happier, more engaged, more energetic pattern for so long as the heat lasts. I love it. I have always been a summer creature. When I think about my childhood, the whole memory feels like summer on my skin. Me and my five siblings running around wild and free and slightly dangerous (you see, when you have six kids, you just can’t afford to be a helicopter parent. It doesn’t work). River sand. Crawdads. Sweet gumball trees. Running to the library, or to the gas station to buy candy. Swimming at the city public pool, so full of kids you can barely move. Walking to the McDonalds to buy fries for the sole purpose of getting those little monopoly stickers. Shooting arrows into the city’s sandy riverbed when the Arkansas was low (which I probably should not have done, because I think I lost an arrow that way).
Does it sound like I’m from either the 50’s or a small town? Well, not so. I’m from a decent-sized city, and from the 80’s and 90’s. But my summers were a bit old-fashioned, maybe.
So, I’m starting to feel awake. And I love that feeling.
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