NORMAN — Move over February! In my heart, June is the most romantic month of all.
June, the king of summer, marks the beginning of the most royal season: The sun beats hotter, days stretch longer and hemlines get shorter as summer romances begin budding, children’s backyard adventures take flight and family vacations begin. June is the stuff school daydreams are made of — freedom, spontaneity and all things beautiful and nostalgic.
As a baby born on the summer solstice, frequently falling on June 21, I’ve long considered myself the Queen of Summer. I was in love with June and all things seasonal. Starry nights, warm breezes, cool pools, sandy beaches, baseball games, ice cream treats — it all felt like the royal court’s gift to me.
I reveled in the gifts of summer, greedily bottling my experiences in snapshots of warmth and laughter to cherish in the depths of coming winter.
Among them, trips to my grandparents’ house. After playing in their garden, elbow deep in dirt with a pile of fresh carrots to show for it, I’d run inside to witness my grandfather snapping his arthritis-ridden fingers to the sounds of jazz. The silky music slipped out of the sound system as Grandad’s body swayed, his head leaning backwards, eyes shut, lips curved in a satisfied smile as he soaked in the sweet melody. Often his hand would extend as he invited me to a dance around the living room.
Other memories find me in Disneyland on a sunny day: My father is at the helm of a teacup, pulling on the gear as fast as he can to make our portion of the ride spin more quickly. Colors begin to blur together, my stomach flipping with each turn we take. I throw my head back in laughter only to discover the cup’s centrifugal force won’t allow me to bring my head back in. I spent the rest of the ride laughing and laughing, listening to the sounds of my own father’s glee and Alice in Wonderland music echoing in the background.