An Ode to Summer

by Magnolia
Published on May 13, 2021

As our creative team got together to dream and share stories in preparation for summer, we considered all that this season freely gives us: warm weather, a push towards adventure, a reminder to dare greatly, and that irresistible call to pack up the car and hit the road.

We wrote this essay as an ode to all these things, and more. These words guided our planning for this season at Magnolia, and we hope it serves as an encouragement for you to embrace all that summer represents.

This will be the quiet moment.

She thinks in blocks of time, not in time as something continuous. Time to sit and read and journal. Time to work out. Time to cook something for dinner. Time to run the kids wherever they need to go next.

This is the quiet moment. She sits in her favorite chair beneath the lamp and reflects on gratitude—an exercise she hopes becomes a habit. Gratitude to begin each day. And just as she begins to reach the layer beyond the expected—family, provision, health—she hears the creak of the door, the footsteps in the hallway.

And there he is, standing in the half-light with his hair a mess.

He comes to her and climbs into her lap—the last remnant of a child who is now a boy. Rare is the moment when he so clearly admits his desire for affection. For her touch. For her arms wrapped around him, but for now, and for this, she is grateful.

Time is moving without her permission, and even now, in the light, he has changed. He’s older since last night.

Is it really summer, he asks.

Yes, it’s the first day of summer.

In his eyes eternity is born.

She knows, she sees his face. Summers won’t last forever. One day he will live someplace else. One day he will go to an office on a summer morning. One day he will trade his bicycle for a car and his baseball glove for a briefcase.

And this is the reason summer must be memorable. This is the reason nothing in the world is more important than summer, right now, with him. Because time is moving without her permission.

She lights the candle and swaps out the flowers and makes the small changes around the house not only for her own sake, but so that summer is real. So that maybe he will remember that time allows for magic, if we choose to ask. Time is continuous and was never meant to be thought of in blocks. The promise of the endless summer will not be broken on her watch. One day he will remember all things are possible and freedom is his natural state.

Give them summer. Give them all of it.

Give them pancakes and movie nights. Give them the whole watermelon and a dirty tank top. Give them a shower with a water hose. Give them the baseball tournament and a trip to the beach. Give them a sprinkler and a slip and slide. Give them snow-cone faces and bicycles with the tires aired up. Give them all day in the treehouse. Give them a rope swing into the river. Give them a reminder to be home before dark.

Give them summer and they will discover eternity.

We can do anything? he asks. He sits up in her lap. He’s alive in his natural state. He realizes all things belong to him. But he wants to hear her say it.

Yes, she says. We can do anything.