These past few squinty-eyed days of sunshine warm upon my face and bright upon my corneas have awakened the slumbering child within. I know this because as I passed by the bookshelf (long overdue for organizing and straightening of the few books I have saved from my wintertime purging), my eye fell upon the one book that is a ritual of summer for me — Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.
Such a marvelous book chock full of great wisdom and insight. Here is a masterpiece that captures childhood using mere ink and paper. What a feat!
I read it, faithfully, every year at the cusp of summer. June 21. Never before … because it is a summer’s tale, filled with the awesome, blossoming awareness of life.
Already my fingers itch to open the pages — well worn, yellowed, and in places tattered — and begin to read. But wait I will, because summer is scarcely a glimmer on the horizon and this book, well, it simply can’t be read until summer takes over her duties.
Nevertheless, I’m grateful for this early spring reminder of what’s coming. That, and a vision — for just a brief moment — of fresh grass and the busy hum of bees, the twittering of birds and the sharp laughter of children. May each of them discover for themselves this year the wonder of realizing “I am alive.”
So, go buy the book already. Place it on your bedside table. Let it call to you and tempt you and tease you with the pages of summer it holds safely between its covers. And on June 21, pick it up and read it. I’ll join you.