I remember the warmth of the sun shining down on us. I remember the sound of the bees buzzing. I remember the taste of the cool, crisp water from the water fountain. Mostly, I remember the sweet, wild blackberries growing on their vines and the joy I felt picking them with my dad. We'd savor our juice-stained fingers with pride.
I can't think about summer without thinking about blackberries and the memories we made each summer when I was growing up. But it's not really about the berries themselves, as delicious as they were. But more about how safe and comfortable I felt spending time with my favorite person in the whole world. Carefree.
The way we'd laugh together all day long, making jokes and creating new words for our "language" that nobody understood but us. The way we'd water the blackberry plants each year to make sure they'd come back again. The long, bumpy ride over the gravel road to leave the park. Listening to music in the car and singing along, doing our silly shoulder-shrug dance. The silent thanks we gave to the inventor of air conditioning and whomever it was that thought to put it in automobiles.
I was in the grocery store a few days ago and noticed that there weren't any blackberries for sale anymore. It made me sad, not only because that means summer is just about over, but also because it reminded me of those summers.
I miss them. I miss not having a care in the world. I miss the promise of a hot summer day and looking forward to the joy it brought me.
Blackberries. Little morsels of sweetness, big buckets of memories.