If you believe the lyrics of popular song, then you know that summer time is the best of times.
The livin’ is easy, the fish are jumpin’, etc. The summer breeze makes you feel fine, the summer wind brings love without heartache. School’s out, and it’s time to play ball, eat ice cream and generally revel in the long days of sunshine and warm nights of moonglow.
In reality, there will probably be a few days during the next couple of months when the vagaries of weather and the larger forces of destiny and fate will align to produce a few transcendent moments of that rare essence of Summer.
But for the most part, summer struggles to live up to its hype. If it’s not the bugs and the heat and the incessant lawn mowing, it’s the humidity, the haze, and the pressure to have fun, fun, fun every minute.
Personally, I’m of the view that what makes a summer moment perfect is the kind of suspension of expectations that comes with time off from work, social obligations and media overload. I need time unplugged.
When I forget this and overbook myself, I get cranky. That’s when I turn to my cat for advice.
Normally, I take the cat with a grain of paprika. It looks good, but doesn’t add much to the flavor. However when it comes to the science of down-time, cats are Zen masters. This is why they can’t hold jobs. They’re too good at doing nothing.
Sometimes I forget to do nothing. The mania for multi-tasking runs many people ragged, especially in these tech-infested times.
Cats by their very nature are blissfully immune to the lure of the internet. Sure you can find lots of cat pictures and cat jokes on the internet, but cats themselves have no interest in computers, unless they happen to feel like napping on one.
Summer, in its purest form, is an extended catnap. Whether on a beach, or a hammock, or simply curled up on the couch, an hour or two of refreshing indifference to the rush and bustle of modern life can make all the difference.
So what if summer doesn’t officially start for a few more weeks? Everyone knows that Memorial Day is the unofficial start of real summer. The pools are open, the beach umbrellas are open, the ice cream truck is jingling on the corner.
I’ll take a creamsicle.