Molly and I took some time this week to welcome back an old friend we weren’t sure we’d see again.
She flew in late through lilac petal showers, announced herself under a leaf canopy and smelled of sweet grass.
We opened the windows and put the top down on our little blue bug to beckon her in. We dusted off porch furniture and hauled out rusty fire pits and dusty grills.
Unapologetic at her tardy arrival, she seemed surprised by our extreme relief.
“Of course I came,” she said with the thwack of tennis ball on racquet, stroller wheel on warm cement, creaky swing in park.
But we, who had pictured salt-stained boots and woolen scarves, thick sweaters and corduroys as last day of school attire, honestly weren’t sure.
Having witnessed one of the coldest winters on record, we wondered if we’d ever see our loyal friend.
Twice, we stored our winter coats and had to drag them back out when frost crept up our window panes.
Frost. In May.
And then one morning we cracked our windows open and smelled apple blossoms on the morning breeze. Tentatively, we opened them wider and watched the curtains dance.
We stepped out, barefoot, and walked through cool grass, pulled bikes from racks and pedaled, dined al fresco.
Our old friend arrived just in time. This afternoon, Molly will step off the school bus for the last time as a sophomore; she’ll open her arms wide and say, “Welcome back, summer! We’re so very glad you came.”