Midsummer Americana

I have the luxury of my mother’s rusty old Schwinn bicycle to relish these summer evenings. And what a luxury it is.

The light lingers long and orange on trees so green they could burst.

The neighborhoods are filled with a floral perfume, like lilac but not so saccharine.

The streets echo softly with children’s laughter and the first of the evening’s frogs.

I ride past field and farm and picket-white houses with wrap-around porches. If I head up the hill there is a little red barn out of a storybook.

I can ride leisurely on wide, empty sidewalks, cushioned from the noise and stray asphalt of passing vehicles by some 3- or even 10- feet of lush grass. It feels extravagant.

Tonight I rode the long winding road snaking around the town’s two middle schools.

Between them a creek nestles in native woodland and a large football field and track remains from the old high school. A to-scale model of the solar system measures the road’s length on placards and, further up, a Little Free Library nests in someones yard.

On either side of the schools are rows and rows of small baseball diamonds. At least a dozen of them all in, and rarely occupied excepting Saturday little league tournaments.

But tonight more than one is full of grown-up cricketers soaking up the final hours of these summer evenings. I can’t help but smile as a batsman knocks the bowl clear into the outfield.

Later, the fireflies will start and the eddies of poplar cotton will be lit like summer snow. The wide open skies will gleam with constellations I’ve forgotten the names of.

It’s nights like these I remember laughing in those brooks; skinning my knee in that parking lot; and laying on picnic tables hoping to spot a falling star.

The thoughts warm my insides.

This is where I came from.

This is my old home.



2 Responses to “Midsummer Americana”
  1. Marie says:

    Michigan sounds a lot like Minnesota. I remember summer nights like you describe. 🙂


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