August 16, 2011

a bit of nostalgia (and rambling.)

Evening walks are one of my favorite things about summertime. They're good during any season, sure, but they're especially wonderful in the summer--a bit magical, even. Cinematic, you could say.

There's just something about meandering a neighborhood--all abuzz--as the sun dips down.

I grew up beside a park, Lake Ellyn, and some of my most wistful memories are of those simple evening walks with my family and friends come July or August. As summer peaked and then waned, the park would be full of people and a warm, quiet energy. Couples walked with strollers and kids tossed a football and teenagers sat flirting on the dock of the boathouse. There were always people playing tennis on the nearby courts and families hosting barbecues in the fading shade of the oak trees, the smell of buttered corn and grilled meats wafting along the paths.

While the sun set, we'd walk around the lake again and again, telling stories or making plans or--when I was with my friends--chatting about our latest crushes. As the night grew darker and the crowd thinned, we'd catch fireflies and make wishes before setting them free. One of my recurring wishes was for summer never to end, for those easy walks to last forever.

It's important to me now, to live beside a park. It's one of the main reasons we chose our apartment, and lately I've made sure to walk around the neighborhood each and every night. Funny how similar everything is in the city, how couples still pass with strollers and kids still toss a football and teenagers still sit flirting--only this time, in this park, on benches. There's even a set of tennis courts, too, and the familiar sound of rackets settled into the backdrop of the whole scene.

Another one of my firefly wishes, back in the day, was for someone to walk with later in life--someone I loved who would share that special time with me. And part of that wish (Oh, I can't believe I'm sharing this...) was for that someone to be a California boy. Maybe it was my love for Zack Morris or some sort of strange intuition, but, yes, the California clause was most definitely part of the wish.

And, well, it came true--I have Radley walking beside me.
See? Those walks really were magical.

(Photo: My Flickr)

6 comments:

Anna said... [Reply to comment]

Aw this post is so sweet. My favorite time of day is dusk in the summer, when the air just glows and your nailpolish looks the best (haha). My fiance is originally from Glen Ellyn (I feel vaguely like we have talked about this in a previous bloglife?), that town will always feel magical to me because it is where my summer visits turned into everything.

siddathornton said... [Reply to comment]

your blog is so inspiring.

ag. said... [Reply to comment]

what a sweet and oh so magical post. i can just picture those simple evening walks!

Elizabeth and Kyle @ Love Is the Adventure said... [Reply to comment]

I love this post. I totally agree. Some of my favorite summer memories are these long walks Kyle and I used to take through Cole Park every night. That particular summer we lived in a very old apartment on the main street of the very tiny town we went to college in. We didn't have very much money (not that THAT's exactly changed!) and I remember we would make trips to the library and then take our books to the park. It was one of the best summers of my life.

Elizabeth and Kyle @ Love Is the Adventure said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jasmine said... [Reply to comment]

Sweet post! Wish I had discovered your blog before. You seem to be a really good writer :)