Can you feel it?
It’s in the sunnier evenings. It’s in the scent of sunscreen mixed with sweat. It’s in the firm shutting of the “winter running shirts” drawer; in the soothing drone of the air conditioner; and in the shrieks and splashes coming from swimming pools.
I know, it’s still technically May today. But summer is hovering right there, just the way you hover right there when you’re next in line to go down a waterslide.
I love this time of year, not only for being on the cusp of summer, but for being on the cusp of one month in particular: June! June is my birthday month, so obviously I love it for that, but it represents so much more.
In June, the memory of cold temperatures is still recent enough that we all coo over the warm weather, welcoming it with open arms. In June, the heat (ok, unless you live in Phoenix) has yet to become oppressive. Most hurricanes are still just twinkles in the ocean’s eye. We desert folk still harbor dreams of a monsoon season. No one complains about the dog days of June.
Growing up in Virginia, June meant freedom. The last day of school was in June, and after that? Blank space on the calendar! Opportunity! Sure, we had intermittent summer camps and sports practices, but in between? Ahhhhh.
Things are a little different now, but just because most of us have year-round jobs doesn’t mean we can’t get excited for June and the unfurling of summer. Maybe we don’t have as much freedom as we did when we were kids, but we still have opportunity. It’s the beginning of a new season – one that beckons us to get outside and live a little. Or at least go to a festival or two.
I don’t know about you, but when a new season rolls around, I like to have a couple of plans. Flexible plans, mind you, especially for summer – isn’t the point of summer to keep things flexible and relaxed, after all? – but they make me happy. I think of them as mini-resolutions. So far my plans involve two of my favorite things: travel and running. In the middle of June, I’m heading westward to San Francisco to visit family and spend my 32nd birthday in one of the coolest towns in the world. Then, from San Francisco, I’m heading up to Oregon for my FIRST-EVER visit to that state (!!!) to visit my fabulous friend Jax in the town of Hood River. If any of you have been there and have recommendations for restaurants, running routes, or other cool activities, please share them!
As for running, I believe I’m going to make this The Summer Of The 10k. It’s been over a year since I’ve run one, and Albuquerque has a couple of fun ones coming up. I figure my legs deserve a break from all the longer-distance racing, and could use some shorter, speedier stuff. You say, “Running fast in the season of leisure? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?” Nope! I say running fast means getting to sit in the shade with a cold beverage that much sooner.
Here’s hoping you all enjoy the last drops of May…and have a splendid start to June!