“Summer breeze makes me feel fine, blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind.” Those words come from the song, “Summer Breeze’, written by Seals and Croft in 1972. I can’t help but smile when I hear the words of that song, even now. I was 16 in 1972. Everything seemed so good, so full of hope. Life, at that moment was simple, all of my dreams seemed possible.
I think of days at the local swimming pool, flirting with my boyfriend, shaking my long, curly hair at him, droplets of cold water running down his chest and me laughing as he tried to splash me in retaliation. That place is no longer there. It was a motel on the main road through our part of town. There were areas around it that were considered to be rather “wild”, so we felt cool hanging out there. Actually, the motel was owned by the parents of a good friend. We would see the curtain blowing in the breeze, just like the song said, but there was nothing romantic about it. Behind the curtain was the face of our friends mother looking out for us.
The song brings back memories from later years as well. The excitement of trips with friends to new and exciting places. Somehow, the words put a sense of magic into the air, whether I was looking out over the ocean or sitting on a mountainside watching the lights of Los Angeles glimmer like the stars that they belonged to. Even now, as I watch my grandchildren scream as they squirt each other with the swirls of cold water from a snake-like green water hose, I hear the words and smile…”Summer breeze makes me feel fine, flowing through the jasmine in my mind.”
I am going out on my own for this weeks ” Write at the Merge” prompt, I have a favorite song that simply brings back youthful summer memories like no other song can. It was written in 1972 by Seals and Croft.
She gently stroked my hair as she whispered to me, “ Once, when I was a little girl, a butterfly landed on my nose.” She smile, heard a quiet giggle, then a deep breath.
It had been an exhausting trip for Colleen, but, finally she was at the front of the pub that had belonged to her family in England for over 150 years. Colleen, having been born in Georgia, in the United States had heard of this place since she was a child, sitting on her Grandpa’s knee.
Her Grandpa had always called her his, “Irish Colleen”, with her flowing red tresses. Suddenly, it felt real, she WAS that “Irish Colleen”.
“Colleen!” a voice shouted. She looked ahead in astonishment. Her cousin, Siobahn, was her mirror image! Grandpa was right! Irish genes were strong!
Ok, it has been seven years since my precious son suddenly ran toward me, collapsed on the ball field as I got to him and never regained consciousness. It has been seven years since who ever called 911 did not stay on the line or give proper directions. Seven years ago, I stood stunned as someone who called themselves a nurse ran up, but never did anything a nurse would do. He would be 22 in a few weeks.
The Fire Department was in sight of the Ball Park, so I know that they did not get the call or proper directions. The first responders in this area-the Fire Department are lightning fast and wonderfully trained. I know they did not get directions that we were in the ball park right below them. If they had, my son would not be dead. It was 10-12 minutes until an ambulance came from town and I was forced to watch my beautiful healthy son dying. In the ambulance , they were defibrillating him. In the hospital, they worked on him an hour.
His life was lost for negligence, my life, health, faith and future were ruined. My family will never stop suffering. Few light candles on his memorial site anymore, The mementos of his grave have slowed down. He is still dead, for nothing. I have almost died five times. Please do not forget those who have lost children. They never forget-you shouldn’t either.
When I saw the word of the week, I just came up with nothing. I haven’t seen a herd of anything in a long time. Even a herd of cattle out in thee country has been a rare occurrence.
Then I thought of some conversations I have had with my grandchildren lately. I think that “herd” has become such a commonly heard word for a group of animals that little children often don’t know that there are different words for different groups of animals.
I have laughed as my preschool to 1st grade children told me about herds of anything from bears to rabbits lately and I began to realize that I did not know all of the words for groups of animals either.
I decided to look a few up, so I could tell them. I started to find a dictionary or some resource, I began to realize how many words for “herd” that I already knew. A swarm of bees, a brood of hens, a pack of wolves, a gaggle of geese or a flock of sheep.
I began to wonder why all these different names for a group of animals came to be. That is a question I have not yet answered. What ever the case, I will know when my grand children talk about a “herd” of something, that means they saw “a whole lo of them!”
I walked along the streets, tears flowing down my cheeks. It was 8:00 on a summer evening. An argument had torn at my soul. My heart was broken.
Around me, I noticed the lights in houses were coming on. Darkness had come and families were settling down to relax, read, watch TV, normal things.
Hours later, far from home, I started back. Home. What was that now? The lights in the houses were beginning to go out. Bedtime, sleepy heads on soft pillows. Lights. Signals of time.
I walked home. I would leave the lights out. Maybe things would be brighter in the morning. .