Is summer a metaphor for life? It could be. Or at least Farmer Tony seems to think so…
Summer is here and once again I have been caught off guard. Sure, like any good farmer you have to anticipate the hot weather this time of year, but maybe I just didn’t want to see triple digits haunting my weather forecast just yet. But aside from the inevitable long days of heat, dust and sweat that awaits us all in the “orange groves” of our lives, there are always those things that, even if you try to plan for, you will sometimes be caught unprepared to handle. Take for instance that “2 a.m. mosquito” that wakes you up in the middle of the night with that annoying high pitched “wheeeeee” sound in your ear. And it’s not so much the noise that’s the problem, it’s the near self inflicted bloody nose you get when you try to smack the mosquito, only to smash yourself in the face! Yeah, that will keep you awake for a while. Or how about the “critters” that get into the vegetable garden and take out your tomato and chili plants…roots first? Oh, we all have special names for those little guys don’t we? Then there are the weeds that grow around the yard, broken sprinkler heads, yellow jackets that decide to interrupt the outdoor barbeque fun, and then there is the “heart stopping” first electric bill of the summer! Now, that will catch your attention. It’s usually after that first bill that you realize how much you really DO have in common with the whole “green energy” movement. So up goes the thermostat setting somewhere north of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and down from the attic come the box fans to put the windows to help with the heat. And so goes the summer.
But then again, there are the pleasant surprises that happen in the summer. The “long- time, no see” good friends and family who announce (usually via e-mail these days) that they are going to be in your area and want to drop in for a visit! The impromptu trip to the beach, lake or mountains, just to “get out of the heat” for a while…those tend to be rather refreshing. And then, there are the more “simpler” surprises that happen in the heat. There’s the tall glass of iced tea, coffee or lemonade that someone special brings out to you just at the right time. Ahhh…perfect. Or my favorite; after a long day, you’re sitting outside under your favorite tree and a nice breeze starts to rustle the leaves and branches. As the air sweeps across your face to cool you, you say to yourself…”maybe summer isn’t so bad after all.” So, what’s the lesson here? Like life itself, we learn that even if you aren’t always ready for summer (as I never seem to be), it’s always good to know that life has a way of balancing out the heat with things that are simple and good.
I’ll see you in the groves,