We’re at the park, surrounded by the crisp green grass and the sun beating down on our backs as we run around in the playground. In the distance, I see the picnic table full of food and my grandfather at the grill with my uncle, starting on their famous ribs. These sights and feeling will always mean one thing to me: Summer.
I’ll always savor the smell of sun on my skin, the itch in my ankles from sitting in the grass, and the taste of fresh watermelon as we wait for those ribs to cook. Parks in the summer will always bring me back to the Fourth of July celebrations where my mother’s family would have conversations, conversations that would enthrall my childhood mind. They would talk about the past, when they were children, and I couldn’t even fathom their existence before I was born.
The smell of the ribs would fill the air and I would find myself actually drooling with hunger, stealing glances at my grandfather and his son at the grill to see if there was a secret signal that they were done. I would watch my cousins as they played the complex hand games that I had yet to master. This was summer. The family, the food, and the conversation.