Something about the beach? Nah, the sun came out, that’s what brought me out of my head.
Chicago’s winter was long long long. Not much of Spring, but there really never is. A day or two at most of 60 degree weather, and then the sun comes out in all its heated glory and bakes us, driving people into their air conditioned cars and homes and cafes. I have been guilty of running away from the heat, many many many times, despairing when the air conditioning stops working, as it’s wont to do, or when my water bottle is empty and suddenly the mouth dries up, as it is also wont to do. Not yesterday, though. There was no running yesterday, no desperate search for a spot of shade, no yearning for that small cup of ice water that restaurants grudgingly give trudging college students who beg.
My mouth was too busy smiling, or relaxing, to be dry, my head was too calm and clear to think desperately of air conditioning. The urge to pray to some sort of sun god is so overwhelming when the first real beach day comes upon Chicago. Pray and pray and kneel and bask, and be embraced and warmed and loved by the rays exuded from this brilliant golden orb miles and miles away. Sound weird?
But I’ve been sun-starved and now a morsel has been placed before me on a shining platter, and as I laugh at myself writing this, I’m also relieved because I maybe sort of believe every word. Here’s my attempt to explain it: Lying on a towel on the sand, wishing that these tiny flies would go somewhere else, the sand isn’t blowing in my eyes. My best friend lies next to me and we sometimes talk and sometimes it’s completely silent, or maybe we’ll listen to some Lana or Imagine Dragons. Not too hot, not too cold. Suddenly, my back starts becoming warmer and warmer until I start getting the chills from the heat on my back. Chills! Chills from the heat, can you imagine?
I want to explain the peace I felt yesterday, so that you can nod your head and agree that you’ve felt this before. Maybe some people love the cold so much that they too bask, and smile inside so wide that their hearts feel full almost to bursting? I want you to know! It was a hug from the sun, my sun, from the air and the water and the people with their little kids and their frisbees. It was so SIMPLE. Perhaps it was that same simplicity that brought me my solace. Not that I was particularly morose before this, needing to be brought out of it…it was a sort of apathy, perhaps? And perhaps that is scarier than sadness? But Lana and the sun, and my best friend, and the warmth. The warmth.
So I’m writing this all down now, so that later, maybe when I have forgotten what the first warm moments were like, when I’m complaining from the heat and running to my air conditioning, when I seek shelter in the shade or a cafe, and forget the frisbees. I’ll read this and smile on the inside when I remember my mouth relaxing and the heat that gave me chills.