a guest post by jessica
It was an American summer with wheat fields and pine trees and golden peach sunsets. Sunshine in plum orchards and the smell of fresh rain on an old dirt road. A small Northwestern town: red Ford pickups on dirt lanes, the smell of fresh earth in the air, crisp white farmhouses, and dear grandpas on tractors in the farmer’s uniform of denim overalls and button down shirts.
We vowed to make the most of this summer and so make the most of it we tried. Stargazing on hilltops, bodies clambering to find a seat, all lying together side by side. Voices disruptive at first, then slowly ceasing until the only sounds heard were the songs of crickets and the footfall of cows.
Countless long nights around campfires, moon light in the sky, friends seated together on chairs called tree stumps. There was laughter and white teeth shining in the moonlight, marshmallows on sticks, and the crackling of bright orange flames. Scattered coffee cups on the ground, practical jokes played, and too many, but not enough, stories passed around.
Fourth of July night with watermelon slices and lemonade pitchers drunk dry; fireworks in the dark and shouts of laughter shared with loved ones. This is the Land of the Free and we belong to freedom. We are the ones they call free.
Fiddle music in the air; a Gypsy song is played. There is dancing, hands clasped tight and heads tossed back, breathlessness as the pace picks up faster and faster. Hearts racing, adrenaline rush remembering the steps to take: twirl here, step there, lean back, repeat.
And then, the moments that we could not make, the ones that were simply given to us: white daisies for rustic crowns and golden hay fields, apples off trees and strawberries for homemade jam. Sunrise and sunset, sunshine and moon light. Crickets chirping and the coyote’s haunting whisper on the breeze. Mountain peaks and fir trees, fir trees and mountain peaks. Trickling of a spring and the steady beat of a creek. The simple act of smiling and laughter as easily as we breathe.
We made that summer last as long as we could but, as always, all good things must come to an end. So we wrapped up our memories, tucked them away into boxes and shoved them deep inside our heads. Cold winds would soon come and summer would be forgotten, until the remembrance of wooden boxes would trigger fiddle music and daisy crowns and golden sunsets and the way the stars freckled the night sky.
And so when the winter asks what we did all summer, we will say, ‘everything’ and that will be enough.
my name is jessica. i am eighteen years old and i call northwest oregon my home for the time being, in a little town with fir trees, quiet old farms, countless dandelion fields, and more than enough rain. i spend my time creating watercolor paintings, making music on many different instruments, and writing as many words as i possibly can.