Welcome to Memorial Day, boys and girls, the most joyous damn day of the calendar year. The pools are open and full of water! Hallelujah and hosanna.
I’ve lived for this holiday my entire life. It’s better than Halloween, April Fools, even Christmas. Well, except when I was a kid — I was a greedy, covetous little thing. Now I only want to be warm, basking under a golden sun, hair slicked back, weightless and buoyant. There is no better, freer feeling in the world, my friends. None.
Flying off diving boards and starting blocks. Smelling of chlorine and zinc oxide. Swimming practice at 9:00, swimming meets on Sundays. That was my summer — Memorial Day to Labor Day. It seems I’ve spent a lifetime in a Speedo; damp is my natural state. Wearing clothes, dry ones without a bathing suit underneath, was an uncomfortable, foreign feeling in summertime.
One year my suit was a sporty green and white striped number, straps tied in the back with a shoestring. Oh, I was something in my jaunty stripes, strutting and posing, after a parade of boring solid colors. Surprisingly, by late-June, I’d become striped myself — my stomach and back suntanned zebra-style. It made for a nice change, I thought, from the ghastly white imprint usually left by my swimming suit.
I miss those days. Or maybe it’s the kid I miss; the exuberant, unruly little whirlwind I used to be. There was no dare too fearsome, no risk too high. Consequences didn’t exist, not in my world. Such things as backlash and failure were unknown. I was familiar with repercussions, naturally, getting busted was just standard procedure. I got away with nothing and I didn’t care.
Ah, to be young again. It’s so easy to be brave when nothing’s at stake. When it’s summer and your whole life is before you, packed with wonder and possibilities.
Puts the valiant bravery of our military veterans into proper perspective, doesn’t it? They were young, too, many of them, with their lives yet ahead. The difference is, they knew the dangers, the terrible risks, and took them, anyway. There is no deed more heroic.
Take a moment to honor them, the veterans. Let’s celebrate the freedom they have so graciously and selflessly afforded us. Don’t waste it. Be considerate of one another, lend a hand where it’s needed, and give something back somehow, somewhere. To someone.
copyright © 2015 little ittys