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Senses of Summer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


The smell of chlorine. The sun's rays warming my skin. The grass tickling my arms. The bitter taste of lemonade in my mouth. Children laughing. Waves lapping against the lake shore. Night drives with no destination. The flash of a camera. The gossip of friends. The smell of sunblock. Starwatching turning into sunrise parties. Loud music. Cold drinks. Sweat rolling down my back. The wet dew of the morning. The sprinkler on to run through. The splash of a cannonball into the pool.

When someone says summer, I think of, see, hear, taste, and feel these things. All I have to do is close my eyes and I see myself lying on a beach towel beside my best friends, listening to music and laughing. I picture the slumber parties, staying up giggling all night, sleeping until afternoon and waking up groggy-eyed, entwined. I see the nights we drive all the back roads, windows down, stereo off, not talking, comfortable being the only people awake. I can hear the midnight phone calls, making plans for lunch or swimming the next day. I can smell birthday candles being blown out as I turn sixteen, and the smell of the lake as we fish off the docks in twilight.

The word summer, sweet and familiar, reminds me of the sweat clinging to my body, my shorts sticking to my legs as we run from each other, a giant game of tag in the empty lot next to a friend's house. It opens my ears, making them remember the sound of the metal canoe scraping against the rocks in the creek bed. I can taste the sunflower seeds that we eat even though we aren't hungry, spitting the shells at each other, screaming with laughter. I can feel the knots being brushed from my tangled hair, which I let air dry after getting out of the pool. I can hear the breeze blowing gently through the windows at night, and am lulled to sleep by the crickets' quiet melody.

Summer is the excitement I feel when I receive a letter from my best friend who is visiting family. It's lying in bed reading a library book with a flashlight. It's the hugs from old friends and new ones. It's a group of friends laughing loudly.

This summer, for me, was a time to rewrite who I am. I was able to unwind and be free. I forgot school year feuds and laughed about things I had stressed over just weeks before. It was a time of growing up, yet being a kid again. It was late nights, early mornings, and a whole lot of fun. I had no cares in the world. My job seemed less stressful, my problems less significant. Summer, to me, is freedom. Summer is friendship. Summer is falling in love with yourself and those around you. Learning about yourself.

I made memories this summer that I will never forget. Memories that I will think of when it's cold and my nose is red. Memories that I will pull out and unfold, like an important piece of paper, and ­remember with a smile on my face. I can't wait to see what next summer teaches me and what I will remember through the years.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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