I’ve got a confession: I don’t really love summer. Or more specifically, I don’t love summer where I live. It’s hot, ridiculously humid, and it’s one long mosquito fiesta from May (sometimes April) through October (sometimes November).
As a runner, I’m an odd bird because I’d much prefer to run in 20 degree weather than in 80s and higher – and trust me, there are a lot more days here that are above 80 than below 20. I know some runners who won’t even run outside in the winter but relish a warm July day to head out into the sun. Not me. There are only so many clothes a person can take off and still run outside.
I’m actually not running these days anyway. I’ve been sidelined with an injury for the last four weeks, and I’m looking at possibly two more weeks without running. If any of you are or know runners who have been sidelined, then you’ll know that climbing-the-walls feeling I’m fighting every day. And feel free to send my husband sympathy cards for having to deal with my general grumpiness at being among the walking wounded. He definitely deserves them. Just don’t send the kind with glitter – he’s not a fan.
I watched as the last lovely days of the most beautiful spring we’ve experienced here in years slipped away one precious day after another last week. Sunday, the humidity arrived, heralding springtime’s end.
Yesterday I was particularly melancholy, because it was the day I finally got around to packing away my winter clothes and getting out my summer clothes (I know, I know – it’s a bit late for that switch). I was particularly sad about packing away my winter running clothes for two reasons: (1) knowing that I’ve just finished the best running year I’ve ever had and feeling unsure about what comes next and (2) knowing that even if I am running strong again in the next couple of months, I’ll be running – and sweating – through the hottest months of the year.
In the midst of my grumpiness, I looked out the window. The sun had long ago set, and it was just at the end of the day when there’s a remnant of light left that tells you that the day really is over. And that’s when my spirits lifted. I had seen summer’s golden lining … the first fireflies of the year.
There’s something about watching fireflies lifting up from the yard at dark like a blanket of stars. The first one I see each year makes me think my eyes are playing tricks, but quickly there’s the second and the third and then many, many more. And I’m transported back to simpler times … when the summer day was never too hot and never long enough for my little girl self to enjoy catching fireflies.
So I think God sent the fireflies to my yard just in time to lift me from the doldrums and remind me that there is much beauty in summer that I do love and enjoy, and just like any season with its own drawbacks, summer has some bad points, but the beauty of it erases the bad. I just have to step outside of my own mind and my own preoccupations to notice it.
Want to join me? I’ll be the one enjoying a glass of iced tea and chasing the fireflies.