This is the summer of yoga in the morning, unrolling my green mat in the dining room and going through my stretches and sun salutations as the sunshine slants across the wood floors.
This is the summer of tall daylilies and pale pink peonies, of vivid multicolored hydrangeas, of cheerful, leggy yellow sunflowers wrapped in burlap at the market or in a blue Mexican vase on my kitchen table.
This is the summer of warm evenings on the Charles River, sitting in the front of a bright pink kayak while my friend Adam sits in the back, finding our synchronized paddling rhythm and stopping to watch the geese and ducklings.
This is the summer of writing it all down – on the blog, in the journals splashed with my messy handwriting, in daily texts and occasional emails to friends.
This is the summer of mornings at Darwin’s, drinking chai or ginger peach tea amid the sunset-colored walls, nibbling on a scone or a breakfast sandwich, typing away on my laptop amid fellow solitary workers and groups of chattering friends.
This is the summer of evenings on the front porch, sitting in a battered lawn chair with a book, sipping lemonade and admiring my red geraniums as the sunset sky changes from blue to pink to gold.
This is the summer of Harper Lee: rereading To Kill a Mockingbird (again) before picking up Go Set a Watchman, tracing the evolution of the characters I thought I knew.
This is the summer of small adventures: trying a new restaurant in our neighborhood, driving up to Maine for a long weekend, seeing the sandcastles at Revere Beach (north of Boston) and tossing a Frisbee by the water afterward.
This is the summer of easy cooking: tossed salads, bruschetta, chicken burritos, shredded zucchini quesadillas, soft pitas filled with chicken and tomatoes, eaten with strips of bell pepper dipped in hummus.
This is the summer of Modern Family, sitting beside J on the couch under the window, howling with laughter at Cam’s antics and Phil’s corny jokes, me imitating Gloria’s thick Colombian accent while I sympathize with type-A Claire.
This is the summer of lunch at the farmers’ market, piping hot tamales made by a fellow Texan from Corpus Christi, topped with fiery salsa and eaten off a sheet of tinfoil at a table in the shade.
This is the summer of all the berries: red and blue, crimson and black, tart and sweet and juicy, eaten straight from the blue cardboard pints bought at the same farmers’ market.
This is the summer that marks five years in Boston – an adventure I could not have predicted, which is still in full glorious swing.
This is the summer of being awake, trying (always trying) to pay attention. To notice these hot, humid, lovely days, to be grateful for their gifts and challenges. To be brave and gentle at the same time, and to be here now.
What does life look like for you this summer?