The summer sun beats down hard, without a cloud in the sky, it bakes the earth without the slightest amount of interference. Reclining in my chair and resting my feet on the old brick patio, I allow the sun to cook my skin. As I lay I study the sun in its brilliance, a mammoth star only 93 million miles away. Although such distance, its warmth still finds a way to fry what lies on earth’s surface. On such days, and under such intense rays, one’s saving grace are the winds that come to cool off that which the sun has boiled to an uncomfortable, unbearably high temperature. This summer wind, while bringing a remedy for the heat, carries with it so much more.
Watching the sun, I begin to focus on the sounds that come in the wind. I hear a scream of a child. Such a high pitched scream, one that could only be used in times of great pain. Before my heart had time to react to the pain in the scream, another gust came and riding on this, the question, “Can I really have Ice Cream right now, Mom?” Originally feared to be in fear, screams of a child on a warm summer day are directed at the sweet, cool, creamy treat they are allowed to enjoy. Fixing to hear more, the frequent page turns of the old man beside his pool eight houses away is carried on the wind. As butterflies leave the grasses, a single beat of their wings is all they need to get carried away into the day. Now floating, the occasional beat of their wings, to correct their movement, can be heard in between pages flips. Joining such sounds, the smell of freshly baked cookies rises from the back windows of the neighbors. Once this floats with the butterflies and bees, it is at the mercy of the breeze, taking it to the noses of those laying in the sun. A dessert without a meal is improper, a faithful friend, just four houses away watches as smoke climbs from their fire, smoking hamburgers now becoming the more potent scent. Aromas so strong, the smallest gap in my lips enables me to join in on the feast. Having the juice of the burger drip down my chin and the smoky flavor dance across my tastebuds. Only to be followed up by the sweet and warm cookie. With each bite another chocolate chip melts away, letting its chocolate strings kiss my kisser.
I listen, feel, smell, and taste my share. Now, it is my time to contribute, and I wonder how far I can travel on the gales that rush by me. Ruffling my hair into a mess, and blowing the steam from my third cup of green tea, I wonder how far I travel. Filling myself with the sun’s warmth, I allow internal emotions-joy, worry, fear, love, slowly escape for the time. I whistle the melody of Jack Johnson’s “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.” In between chorus and verse I find time to read short poems aloud. Knowing the wind snatches them, I wonder if they travel beyond my yard. Perhaps a sudden hurricane like wind finds a way to take them beyond my town. If I’m lucky they pass through the trainyards and lakes reaching the concrete jungle that is Chicago. Bouncing from ear to ear, the Windy City is too loud for the words of any one person to be understood. I imagine my words dancing across Lake Michigan, jumping over the waves, and wishing the Salmon Fishermen ‘good luck’ as they pass.
Elsewhere, the sun beats down the same as it does in the small towns around Chicago. Studying the sun, 93 million miles away, the star can reach billions of people all at once. You lay down in it’s warmth, whistling a song and finding time for short poems between chorus and verse. You wonder how far you and your words can journey on the wind. Watching the same sun, and feeling the same breeze, are these enough for my words to reach you, is it enough for your words to reach me?
Now burned and tired from the extended exposure to the sun’s damaging rays, I rise, knowing the wind delivered my words; you have heard me.