by Esther J. Perne
Say yes to hot feet dipped in refreshing water. Say yes to a cold drink sipped in a sidewalk setting. Say yes to summer sounds of music, birds, insects, voices and laughter.
Say yes to shimmering sunsets, to knarly thunderheads, to tunes under the stars and the man in the moon.
Say yes to freshly mown grass that belongs to the neighbors and wood to be stacked that can wait and gardens someone else weeds.
Say yes to tourists and guests showing us what's to love about being here, for actually doing outings that are on our bucket lists and for excitedly discovering what has been here right along.
Say yes to anglers and golfers for saying yes to their sports in the rain, to theater- and museum- and movie-goers for showing us how to beat the rain with a smile and for good books that finally move up the list and are the world's best excuse for staying put.
Say yes to the big, old, sentinel pines that give shade and fragrance and a reminder that this is the Pine Tree State. Or is it the loon state? Say yes to all those eerie but reassuring calls from our favorite lakesters.
Say yes to children and to summer programs for children, to having friends over for children, to activities and outings for children, and to children sound asleep at night.
Say yes to counselors and caregivers, to grandparents and non-kin who share their homes with children and youth. Say yes to food cupboards and free meals and adults that volunteer or donate.
Say yes to wet dogs and dripping ice cream and sandy bathing suits and pine needles stuck to bare feet.
Say yes to the elite bikers with their drop handlebars and toe clips and deft sharing of the roads and to the novices and beginners whose bikes have unexplainable wobbly wheels.
Say yes to small newspapers packed with directories and calendars and news and notes and ideas about some of the best that summer brings and will bring, all hard-copied in pages that can be mauled, marked up, mailed across the country or used for kindling.
Say yes to roadside produce stands, farmers' markets, grocery stores that stock "local" and to the agricultural fair season that spans the summer.
Say yes to the visionaries who remind us to plant trees, divert runoff and join the campaign against invasive plants because they understand why vacationers and visitors love this area and why they want future generations to come here, too.
Say yes to having to work all summer but knowing that waterways and trails and views that steal the breath are only a break away. So, stop.
Say yes to a free summer event, a short hike or stroll, a pause in a waterside park tonight.
Say yes to all the season's wildlife babies and seedlings and what they show us about nature's perseverance, and say yes to all the newborns and infants and the lessons they show us about learning and loving and having fun in the summer.
Yes! Say yes to summer fun.