by Kassandra Lamb
As a kid, I loved Memorial Day. I had no clue what it’s real significance was. I just knew it meant the beginning of summer.
Our local community pool opened, and we swam no matter how chilly the May breeze in Maryland still happened to be (even if the lifeguards were in their sweats, as they sometimes were).
Summer meant swimming and going “down the ocean, hun.” But it also meant freedom – mostly from school.
Weeks and weeks of summer vacation spread out before us. It seemed like infinity at the time. The possibilities for fun were endless.
Today I still get excited about the beginning of summer. It still means freedom – from coats and jackets and closed-toe shoes and socks (from shoes completely around the house or at the beach). And from heating bills (although in Florida, the AC bills can be worse).
We can open our windows and air out the winter staleness.
My mood lifts considerably when the weather warms toward summer and the days grow longer. The flowers are blooming and the grass is growing, soft underfoot. Right now, my magnolia tree in the backyard is about to burst into big gorgeous white blossoms.
The beginning of summer is when I feel most alive, so it seems particularly poignant when I remember what Memorial Day is really supposed to be about – to honor those who have given their lives for their country, to protect freedoms far greater and more important than being able to go barefoot!
It is a day that, like no other, brings to the forefront both the dark and the bright sides of human existence — the losses and tragedies, some of them quite senseless, and the exciting possibilities.
Being an eternal optimist (some have called me a Pollyana 🙂 ), I tend to focus on the possibilities.
How about you? What does the beginning of summer mean to you?
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological suspense series, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.
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