Bare backs in the summertime, with freckles that form constellations, that we traced with fingertips and mused about the possibility that these were like intergalactic maps to treasures across the galaxies. There was innocence in laughter that was echoing off of the rocks beside the waters of hidden lakes. Every color so intoxicating that you swore you were drinking them down deeply. Though, you could never pinpoint just how fresh, crisp, and free those colors tasted.
A hesitant lump grows in my throat as I remember how those summer days gave way to cold. And we could barely grasp the grains of sand sifting through our hands. The more our efforts grew to valiant, the less that we retained, and in the end, not even a grain remained. I remember the whispers of “I Love Yous” from people I didn’t know meant it. But now I know they meant it. Sorting through my replies through the years with disappointment and disdain. So many times I would have meant it, if I had only said it.
Winters that were dismal, dark, grey. Every single day a rush from one building to the next. Never enough clothing to keep us warm. The heater always too hot for the momentary blast of warm air through the vents before being plunged, once again into the cold that would steal your breath.
That winter counterfeit of the sensation of touching summer kissed water for the first time. Not the same pleasure of finding relief in water barely warmed by the spring months. Not the same as the laughter that echoes the summer in souls, because winter’s cold is reflected by an icy soul.
Those days never made me whole. There was never a completion in the years spent separating myself from all the lies I’d come to believe. But, there are days when I miss those winters.