Forever Young – Joan Baez
There is a tradition in South Africa of finding a beautiful scenic spot and having a sundowner. It can be as simple as chips and a gin and tonic, or a full appetizer braai (barbecue) and drink selection. There is only one common denominator, a beautiful location in which to take in God’s beauty in a painted sunset in the mountains. On days like Sunday when I paused to watch the sun set here in Texas, I realize how much I miss of each day. Why does it take different surroundings to cause us to appreciate the magnificence of a sunset or the smell of rain, or the sweetness of cold watermelon?
I keep going back to a place in my mind when every day was like that. I remember the smells. I remember the good feelings of being hot, tired, and magnificently satisfied with my sweaty self at the end of a day. It was summertime. Days were filled with work and errands in the morning, then playing outside with Kool Aid and balls and forts and bikes. We’d come in for dinner, and go right back outside until “dark-thirty,” a few minutes before the darkness actually set in. I remember crickets and fireflies, and good days when the boys didn’t pick me last for the kickball game in the neighbor’s front yard. Summertime was about friends and fun and family.
Today, school is officially out. I don’t see a lot of kids out playing like that anymore. I understand they have Wii© instead, where they exercise virtually to the TV, and spend days more structured, but I do wish the fullness of those sweet days of summer for our children. I think I will plan now to have my own summer vacation and shake things up around here a little. I might start with a sundowner then head out to catch some fireflies in a jar. What are your favorite memories as a child? What do you like to do now in the summer? Do you have plans for a vacation, or maybe one you can take in your own backyard, watching the sun go down and slowing down long enough to see His beauty? I wish that for you.
Sunsets in the Waterberg Mountains of South Africa