My fields aren’t full, but the ripe berries of summer are all that matter

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Little flowers bloom between the cracks of quotidian concrete that are occasionally vandalized with pale, rainbow-colored chalk dust. Ants scramble to build their mounds higher than their neighbors, but little do we know, the tunnels that are rooted in the ground reach for what must feel like miles. The humidity fills my hair, and the sun’s rays cast out every last drop of water on my skin while the sand clings the bottoms of my feet, wanting to be carried to a new home.

Holland State Park fills my brain with sounds of seagulls begging like dogs at the hand of man, the smell of freshwater that we easily can take advantage of, the feel of the radiation bringing out the freckles that live periodically on the bridge of my nose, and the taste of multicolored ice cream that is so bittersweet in my mind.

Summer is filled with hot days that drift through my winter’s memory on a soft breeze that can make you sigh as you lean back in relaxation. Every sense is heightened when I’m on the beach looking out at the red lighthouse at the end of the pier, just enough that I can recall those moments in my memory even now.

Only weeks from the endless smiles, laughter, and unconditional happiness, I can almost feel the waves rushing against my legs as I sit in the shell-filled sand. Now, I sit in rows watching historical documentaries that I’ve seen multiple times over again. Every weekend, I get a glimpse of a life that consists of nothing but hot cement that burns the bottoms of my feet, sunglasses that fit my face flatteringly, and fresh fruit that tastes like vibrant hues of pink and orange.

Each weekend, I remember days where my cheeks not only hurt from sunburns but from smiling as wide as humanly possible. For now, I can only feel the breeze rush through the open windows of my Jeep and hear the loud melodies of a playlist I’ve heard too many times. I still smile widely. I still smile as if my life depends on it. I still smile because I am happy—I will smile even bigger this upcoming season.

When warm fronts bring in waves of heat and humidity, I make a promise to myself to not waste the mere three months that I have been so graciously given; every summer, I lay in my bed and watch Youtube for hours on end.

This summer, I will live out that very promise that I’ve always strived to keep.

My favorite fruit was watermelon; I could always count on the fruit to be filled with peach-colored seeds and strong, pink juice. I could always count on the fruit to bring me the ultimate taste of summer and serotonin tied together with a yellow bow. I’ve only ever known sugary watermelon, and now I know the slightly rotten rind.

Strawberries remind me of summer; strawberries are filled with a trillion more seeds than a bitter, tasteless melon, and I couldn’t be more grateful for a taste of seasonal fruit that doesn’t only come around periodically.

This summer, I’ll eat on a pink and white checkered picnic blanket, dip faithful strawberries into a rich chocolate, and live sedentarily on the side of the Thornapple River. I can’t wait for endless packages of strawberries and for my stomach to hurt from the endless laughing.

Thank you for replacing the rot with something that will forever be.