Sweetpeas are in bloom all over the neighborhood; so, too, is the butterfly bush. The air is heavy with fragrance.
Summer after summer, the same list of things stirs my emotions. How long the evenings are, before the last wisps of light leave the sky. How much the boys have grown since this time last year. The endless stream of friends, coming and going. The memories of being their age.
I get up at first light. This morning, something disturbed the geese on the water as I made the coffee, but I resisted the urge to investigate. I work furiously while the house is still quiet. My manuscript is due September 15, and as Alexi likes to say, “Nothing so concentrates the mind like the fear of being hanged.” With each chapter I’m immersed in a different time in my life, I assume a different age, I put on different music, I sift through the photos from those days. I dream in words.
Everything is ridiculously good. No matter how hard remembering an experience I’m writing about sometimes is; even when I haven’t had enough sleep. Someday, we’ll sit around talking about these days. How long the summers were; the way we used to walk the beach after dinner; how we ate the leftover pie for breakfast.
My friend Erin posted this salad on Instagram recently, and I’ve been living on it. It’s the perfect summer lunch.
1 can chickpeas
1 small cucumber, or ½ large cucumber
1/3 c chopped cilantro
4 scallions, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lime
¼ c crumbled queso fresco (or a mild feta)
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Cut the cucumber in half, then cut it in half again and slice into ¼ inch pieces. Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, and cut into small chunks. Mix everything together gently. Season to taste with with salt and pepper.
Yield: 2 meal-sized servings, or 4 servings as a side