A Midsummer Night’s Revelation

"There's nothing better than having time on your hands and the summer to blow."

“There’s nothing better than having time on your hands and the summer to blow.”

The summer comes and it goes, and sometimes you don’t know what happened to your time of lazy days to do as you wish.

Your children start to say, “I’m bored.”

Or they gaze out the window into the garden blankly, no longer with the looks of enchanted wonder they had at the start of summer when promises and opportunities swelled and the world was theirs for the discovery.

Now they’ve been there and done that and, well, going back to school just doesn’t sound that bad anymore.

My wife and I sigh.

It’s the middle of summer and the end is too close. We fret about returning to the busy days of racing kids to and fro from school to this event and that event and to the doctors and swimming classes, always climbing, improving, becoming and making.

It’s rarely about just being.

That’s what summer is all about, and that is what life should be about: just being.

I love these moments in the middle of summer. The kids, with too much free time on their hands, declare their boredom and then suddenly something clicks and their eyes open wide. A humming bird flutters by and our youngest daughter, who is five years old, tells Mummy, “That’s my favorite bird!” And she races off to follow its flight.

The eldest comes to us and says she’s read a book in a day and then says, “Now I’m going to read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” And so the 10-year-old does, followed by Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and then another book as she catches the reading bug.

The middle boy, who is eight years old, all of a sudden emerges from his summer blues to declare that he is Luke Skywalker and that his father really isn’t Darth Vader because I’m not that scary looking or mean. But after this declaration he tells me that if I can spare him a few coins then he’ll say I am as strong as the evil leader.

This is a time when their minds start to wander and they discover that the boredom of the middle of summer is perhaps the best time a kid can have, and it is what us adults cherish in our memories of the good times of youth.

Then it clicks for me on this midsummer night’s eve. I have a revelation. I can live like this throughout the year, throughout the seasons. I can live like every moment counts. I can slow down and savor life. So I steal downstairs after a day of working as a reporter and go out into the garden to stand on my own for a moment just as I am, just me in the breeze off the ocean. Then I go to my wife and tell her that there’s not much better than us and this: a family, a house in a pine forest by the beach and time on our hands to do something so simple and pleasing as a kiss.

So we kiss.

And so we kiss again without any walls in our way, without any chinks in the wall to whisper through like Pyramus and Thisbe in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We just kiss, pure and simple.

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