green_apples: (glowing)
[personal profile] green_apples
Title: Summertime
Author: [profile] ghani_atreides
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1244
A/N: I believe this lady is my grandmother. The woods and lake are from the town she grow up in, so I didn't make those up. I guess that in the fashion of a disclaimer I should say I did not creat this lady, and I do not own her, but she's mine!

What did it smell like? You ask yourself yet again. This week has brought a warm spring, heralding the heat of a summer like those you remember from your childhood, when your mom let you run free and barefooted through three different backyards, and climb on trees and come back for apple pie and a kiss on the forehead.
The heat of those days forcing you to wear short overalls and sleeve-less numbers that were always a size or two too big, they were your sister’s, you think, but maybe not. Those were the days of no school, no homework, and mornings swimming in the lake; of coming home in the afternoon, bathe and sit on the kitchen table waiting for the iced tea or cold lemonade with fresh bread, butter and jelly your mom made for you so you could join her while she drank her sweet tea.
You open your window, your own kitchen now, where you wait for the water to boil so you can have your customary tea and muffins. Let the warm breeze in, dust off your winter-crisp body. You’re not as young anymore, cold takes longer to leave your knees and fingers, it clings to your joints and you’re not even that old yet, but the world seems to move faster these days, so maybe you are just about old enough.
And possibly, that’s why you can’t remember what did they smell like, summers. Possibly.
You do remember, however, the lake. How big and deep it seemed to your tiny self, how only boys were allowed to swim in it –now, nobody is allowed to- but you still soaked up every now and then, when no boys were around to see you step out, dripping wet and just shy of lady-like dignity. You can still feel the cold water, refreshing and swelling around you when you first dived in, but only for a minute before you realized that it was not cold, it was merely less hot than the humidified world outside.
If you were to ask your grandchildren what does summer smell like to them, they’d probably give you strange looks, like the ones you get whey you suggest that your boy’s little girl sits like a lady, with her spine upright and her knees together, and she says she doesn’t have to because she’s wearing pants granny, and she says it like you were the little kid in the conversation. It’s actually kind of funny, because you can also remember wondering what was wrong with grown-up’s ways of thinking, they just seemed so weird most of the time.
Or maybe you should ask the little boy, he’s still young enough to actually consider your question. You can see him doing so, assuming his ‘thinking-face’ and looking so handsome and sweet, with his finger up on his chin and his eyes dancing over the ceiling as he searches for the answer that will blow your mind and establish his wisdom from here to the next time the world impresses him and sends him back to you with a question his own wit could not answer.
And what would he say?
Sand. He’d probably say summer smells like sand, big bright smile and round eyes on his face, possibly stumbling over the words too. Sand and Coppertone, he’d add; salt from the ocean and ice-cream from the store, cold coca-colas and sun dried clothes —yes, your daughter still hangs his clothes to dry under the summer sun, but only in summer— maybe it smells like wood and his father’s hiking boots too? It won’t be too long for him before his summers start smelling like perfume and lip gloss, freshly cut grass beneath his head and a girl’s hair tucked under his chin as they lay on the backyard soaking up the sun, talking dreams and building castles out of clouds.
It won’t be long for that, but it won’t be just yet. Until then his summers might still smell like the car’s inside, the windows rolled down to let air in and his momma’s tuna sandwiches, like road trips to the beach and his big sister’s new found appreciation for feminine products and hair spray.
What did your summers smell like? The green of the tree by your bedroom’s window, maybe? That tree’s gone now, the house’s new owner brought it down to put a drive way in its place, you saw it last year.
What did summer smell like?
Winter smelled like vanilla cookies, the chimney’s burning wood and hot chocolate in your favorite mug. Smelled like the wet wood from the naked trees outside; the wool of your coats and the cotton of your gloves. Even snow smelled like the hot oat-based breakfast your mother used to make to -incomprehensibly- substitute the usual toasts and eggs with orange juice from warmer seasons.
Spring smelled like flowers. Period. Flowers everywhere, all the time. Wherever you turned, there were flowers, shamelessly blooming right in front of your eyes, weighting down the air with their sweet scents, sprinkling color over every available piece of dirt that stayed still long enough for them to root in. Life sprouting from the most unsuspected places, like the roof that one time, unstoppable, unabashed and completely free. Utterly perfect.
Autumn, however, is the one that makes you smile the wider. With its pine-scented walks down the forest holding your dad’s hand, temperature just fine for your sundresses with tall socks and those cute little coats your mom used to knit for you –when you were small enough, of course. You never felt more like a lady than when you walked by your daddy’s hand across town and into the color fest the trees became during Fall, reds, browns and golds, intertwining together in a symphony of woody scents and bright fallen leaves. Autumn smells like moist dirt sinking softly under your feet; freshly baked bread from the bakery two blocks down, where your dad let you have hot bread and milk on your way back home. Smells like your grandfather’s pipe’s smoke sweetening the ever-crispier nights when he sat in the front porch while you counted stars from his lap.
Summer smelled like… why can’t you remember? Maybe it’s the multitude of activities and people that summers always brought along to your corner of the world. That’s got to be it.
Summertime meant the lake and late in the morning wake up calls, toasts and jelly for breakfast and juice all day long, as much as you wanted and as many times as you wanted. Summer was your father coming home earlier, or it felt earlier with the sun going down around nine, to read you stories under the giant oak in the backyard. Summer was your sister and you running around each other barefooted and entirely unashamed of the scratches on your legs. Summer was never-ending evenings and lots of fun games to play in the middle of the street with the other kids from the block. Summer was going to bed and fall asleep to the crickets’ and other assorted bugs lullaby playing just outside your window.
It comes to you like a revelation, along with the kettle hissing and your grandchildren’s ruckus as they play in your front yard, summer smells like kids and games, like cake and lemon, like milk and the lake, like your first kiss and your first baby’s birth.
Summer smells like life and freedom.  
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green_apples: (Default)
so green
...and she whispered close, can you hear the ocean? as she leaned her ear against a shotgun shell...

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