Sweet Summer Solstice SweatsteemCreated with Sketch.

in life •  7 months ago  (edited)

Sweat. Dripping. Sweat dripping down my nose. Trickling downward between my breasts, caught by fabric and adding itself to the collective sweat pool on my shirt.

Every day prior the sun was lost to broody clouds, shifting back and forth, spurting out angry sounds and sharp light. But on this day, as though to make some sort of a point, nature had banished the storms. It was clear blue skies for the summer solstice—no rain, just lots and lots of human sweat.

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I was standing outside to clean bird shit off a pool bar. Build it, and they will come. The words rolled through my head as I looked up at the wood rafters above my bar. In this case, birds. They had come to sit on my rafters and shit on my bar. Sometimes things just don’t turn out quite like you are expecting. Well, really, most of the time.

I went inside and tasted my tradition of summer solstice soup. In my haste to throw together the colors of summer—carrots the color of the sun, butter the hue of African daisies, corn like golden pearls, celery the shade of life, and beans as soft colored as sunlight—I had omitted something very important.

No ham! What the hell were you thinking? You can’t make bean soup without ham! It’s all because ham can’t be described in terms of summer. Ham, pink the color of…a tongue? Ham, pink like…a pig? If only it had been yellow and I could have called it slivers of sun on a summer afternoon, or some bullshit like that. Soup, ruined.

I shifted around the house, feeling a bit uneasy. It was nearly time for guests to arrive, and things were just not going as expected. My to-do list was beginning to merge onto itself, collapsing inward. Despite it, there was sunlight streaming into the windows and landing onto wine glasses with a dramatic clash of brilliance. The cake stand with the rum cake sitting with all its heavy rum and butter glory was gleaming too.

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I walked to the cake stand and tapped my fingers to listen to the muted clink against the thick glass. Maybe we will forget the soup, and just eat cake.

There are two types of people in this world—those that buy rum to drink, and those that buy rum to make rum cakes. I am of the latter category, and like-minded rum cake eaters have a tendency to find me. The same with the seasons. I am the only person I know that celebrates the four changes of the year, and yet when I started these parties people came out of the woodwork. If you build it, they will come.

They will come, but things never go quite as expected. I looked irritably in the direction of the soup. Then I caught the sound of the computer screen in the other room. The children had been sitting in front of a screen for the last three hours so that I could put together the party. Guilt nagged at me. Was the party selfish? Wouldn’t it have been better to celebrate the passage of time with the children, rather than having them celebrate part of the holiday with a video?

You suck, I thought as I turned toward the bottle opener and slowly forced the combination of metal and cork. I don’t drink, but other people do, and things never go quite as expected.

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An hour later the voices of kids laughing and shouting were like the music of summer. Sweat was dripping down me, but I wasn’t alone in my sweat. And the soup was certainly not alone either. The dining room table was cluttered with random bowls of different foods brought by different people. Back outside, the nonexistent bird poop looked as though it had never been sitting on the pool bar. In its place different colored glasses and bottles shined in the sunlight, making that clash again, like the trademark of the summer solstice.

With one glass of wine in and more of the glistening liquid swirling around the glass in my hand, life suddenly made sense. I had a fleeting thought of the soup, prompting me to twist my lips in thought of that ham. Pink does not go in yellow soup, you made the right mistake. And the poop? A bird has to poop somewhere. The TV? Kids should have to take backstage sometimes so that when they are parents they don’t fault themselves for also just being adults.

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The adult voices humming away behind the music of the children were something like the buzz of the bees working the crepe myrtle flowers. The yard was alive with human activity, and it was strangely peaceful. It wasn’t quite as expected, but it felt good to have built something.

I watched the sweat trickle down my thigh. Sweet summer solstice sweat.

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After reading this, as a man, all I could think about was ham. Then rum. Then back to ham. Rum. Hamrum! Hamrum! ... and now I'm thinking about motors.

  ·  7 months ago (edited)

"What he said!" 🤣

That just gave me a good laugh, and I did so while eating rum cake, so all the better. I didn't have any ham with it though, because I think it sounds better together as an engine noise than a food :)

You'll never see ham the same way again.

I'm not a man and I want ham... with rum... ham with rum sauce...

Rum sauce, hmmm...I could do ham and rum sauce.

What about rum with ham sauce?

This sounds to me like a glass of rum with some spam mixed in...delicious!

Wait... that sounds good too!

I really enjoyed the story you put there...
I was kinda feeling sweaty too!!!
And the photo selection was perfect! I just dived and lived through your writing... It's more like a poem to me... Specially that last piece;

I watched the sweat trickle down my thigh. Sweet summer solstice sweat.
You're an amazing writer and artist... Happy to find your post... Thank you ♥

I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reading - readers are my favorite people :)

In this case, birds. They had come to sit on my rafters and shit on my bar

Loool at least it proves the saying true

Pesky birds, always up to something :)

Thanks for this beautiful piece. I had a good laugh at the comments though

I had a good laugh at the comments too :) Thanks for stopping by.

Most excellent read. I so love the way you stick everyday words together, like a finely crafted train. (There is a true art to such things.) Thanks for that.
Hmmm, and as for summer, beyond rum...ham, ham=pink=my post-spring colorization of being, during those three months of true joy. That's about it for pink and summer. Besides, I suppose, a dog's tongue, as it sweats, much like yon author, and in the only way it knows how.

Ha, a dog's tongue - that's an excellent one. I have two of them constantly panting in my presence. Sunburn is another good one, why didn't I think of that? :)

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Wooo Hooo.... ! you got curie'd.

Love your writing. You deserve it.

Thanks for coming by. I really appreciate it.

Once I saw your 1200+ votes, I had to come back and comment again !

You do love the shots of the sun peeking through. So do I!

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I just can't resist when I see the sun peeking through. I'm glad to hear there are other sun lovers holding up their cameras out there.

I say, have the rum cake! Skip the soup... but then Pink... pink like pink roses or carnations? That's the best I got... OOOH like the pink and orange sunsets on that hot summer evening, telling us that tomorrow will be yet another beautiful day! There, see, ham it is!

For the rum and the sweat on a happy summer solstice, well I would have said Rum on the rocks but screw that, drink the rum and keep the ice for the skin that needs cooling.

And for the kids, never beat yourself up for that, for they have an awesome mom! A mom that can throw a party! Cause there's rum!

Pink like a sunset! Why didn't I think of that? The soup could have been perfect! Lol.

Ah, so you are that other type of person that likes to drink the rum. I respect that. You drink it, I will eat it, and we both can rub ice all over us :)

Agreed, kids should see adults just being adults. It is easy to slip into doubt in parenting, but also easy to come away from it when the mind become clear again.

Depends on the rum! Like coconut rum :P Other than that it's too strong for me ^_^ I would eat it too.

And yes! Let's rub ice all over us haha.

It's hard being a parent. Congratulate yourself and feel good even though there are days the kids didn't do much at all. If those kids are going to bed with full bellies, a roof over their head and are healthy kids, then be proud that you can offer them that on a daily basis ^_^

hi @ginnyannette
how wonderful, now I too feel a sweat clash of brilliance with the sun !! your way of writing is beautiful, you can bring people into your story and make them feel part of it,
congratulations on your curie vote and thanks for sharing, keep it up

Thanks for stopping by.

I think you're too hard on yourself sometimes. Its ok to forget things and nothing is perfect in this life. What matter the most is to enjoy life as it comes. Everyone had fun and I bet no one even thought about the missing ham in the soup! Now if you excuse me I will eat some ham cause thanks to you I have cravings hahaha

I am too hard on myself. I have expectations for both me and my children - I expect us to always do our best. Most of the time it works out in our favors, but there certainly are times when less than is alright. Wine always helps with accepting less-than :)

It's all in perspective eh?.... Wine perspective. :)

Wine perspective is a really beautiful, happy thing :)

Yes..... it is.

Sounds like a perfect accompaniment for a Sweaty Summer Soltice

I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of summer. Gets hot here and all that sweat...Nope, not interested. We had 47°c here in January this year. Wasn't pleased.

Hope things are well..🙂

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Summer is one of my favorites, but we don't get those extreme temperatures. We do get some extreme humidity though. I'd much rather be hot than cold. Sweat is good for the body (I tell myself).

Hope things are well with you as well. I need to do a bit of catching up around here.

Yes, humidity is the antithesis of good in my opinion. 🤣

All good here, been cold (1-2°c at night) but blue skies and sunshine in the day, still cool though. Typical Adelaide winter.

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It would be nice to teleport for a day to the other hemisphere.

  ·  7 months ago (edited)

Yep, teleporting would be a nice little tool to have in the tool box. Maybe one day huh?

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