White sheets and shirts hanging upside down on a gray rope. This is my favorite image of summer. Sure photos of sandy beaches and candy sunsets are beautiful. Of course, I love the blooms of a mid-summer garden or those quintessential cotton clouds hanging still in a brilliant blue haze. Those images are, undeniably, lovely. But, for me, it is the image of a clothesline that says – summer.
Clothelines are slow and steady. They don’t succumb to the fast pace of what is happening outside our backyards. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I feel partial to them. My summer days don’t languish the way they did when I was young. They don’t creep along, with their minutes ticking at half-time. Now, they are speeding arrows – organized, planned, and dictatorial. Clubs, coaches, teachers, and schedules overrun the irresponsibility of summer that I crave for myself and my family. I find myself digging for lost time.
And so, I turn to the comfort of a clothesline – and its promise of a crisp, fresh bed or a sun-bleached shirt – fresh starts at the end of a frantic day.