Virginia, 1960-something--As soon as school was out, I discarded whatever shoes I had been wearing and donned flip flops for the duration of summer. Flip flops are scant protection on a farm; I can't count the nails that went through them, the scrapes on the top of my feet, the stubbed toes because there was no protection against the rough boards or tree stumps. But they slipped off easily and I burrowed into the soft sand and slipped them back on again to walk through fields where there might be thistles or any number of other prickly plants. Sitting in the yellow glider under Granny's massive willow tree, I flicked off my flip flops and rubbed my feet on the mostly cool clover of the yard.
It's a sweet memory. Our neighbor has a magnolia tree, a rare thing in this part of Kansas. It's not real big as magnolias grow, only about 20 feet but it's thick and healty and it has a handful of blooms. As I was walking by tonight, the perfume of those flowers in the muggy evening air transported me to the South. I walked home and made myself a mint julep. So rather than talk about any event, past or future, I invite you to savor the muggy summer evening. . . or morning. . . wherever you are in time and space.