Ah, July, July—if only you didn’t go by so fast!
I am a summer lover, and July is my favorite month of the year—possibly because, here in New England, it’s the most prototypical and consistent summer month. June is often cool and rainy, as it was this year, and in late August we can start feeling some of the chill air of upcoming fall. But July—July is summer in all its greatest glory.
July is canopies and carpets of green. Even in the city we are blessed with abundant trees, parkland, and beautiful gardens all around the neighborhood.
July is long days and warm nights and walking our dog much farther than we do in the winter.
July in the United States is the Fourth, Independence Day—the only real summer holiday—with its cookouts and concerts and fireworks.
It’s Pawtucket Red Sox games, walking to the stadium a few miles away, relaxing with a book between innings, eating hot dogs or chicken salad wraps balanced unsteadily on our laps, cheering for great plays.
It’s getting your hair cut short and feeling so much freer.
July is al fresco dining at local restaurants that we can bring our dog to, sometimes a healthy walk away, sitting at outdoor tables watching people go by, saying friendly hellos and exchanging a few words.
It’s being able to open all the windows in the house. We are not air conditioning people; we bring up our large fans from the basement and position them for the best cross-breeze and enjoy the feeling of the natural air blowing around us and the sunlight, sounds, and smells of summer coming in.
July is special in our small city. It’s WaterFire in downtown Providence: fires in braziers running up and down the center of the two rivers that converge in a round pool within an open amphitheater near our mall and our train and bus stations. It’s concerts in local parks—classical, folk, pop, jazz—just about every kind of music, and open-air theater.
July is warmth coming up from the pavement, heat shimmering in the air.
It’s sitting on our deck to eat or read in the open air. It’s opening up the new French doors in our back room while we watch the Red Sox and the MLB All-Star game.
It’s getting caught in sudden rainstorms while out running or walking, laughing as we scurry from tree to doorway for shelter, trying to make it home as fast as possible. It’s watching thunderstorms from a screened porch.
It’s knowing that we still have another month of summer ahead of us.
July is the center of the year. It’s far enough away from winter on both ends to make us forget (for a while) the miseries of cold and ice. It creates a paradise of warmth and sunshine and beautiful growing things. It’s almost feeling time stop even as we know it can’t last.
July is sweet.