Florida summers. Yes, they are warm, no doubt, but like most places, Florida summers are laid-back, slower paced and relaxed. People are more inclined to take it easy while kids laugh, play and eat watermelon.
Have you ever noticed that summer has a certain scent? It’s clean, and hot – almost steamy, grassy and earthy. It has to do with the humidity and freshly cut grass and leaves, a kind of Florida “jungle smell”. And let’s not forget the sweet floral smells of jasmine and magnolia flowers. Or, my personal favorite, the salty smell of low tide.
There’s also a certain color to summer. I see pastel-colored Hibiscus, Crape Myrtles and Oleanders. I see vibrant Bougainvilleas, majestic red, yellow and orange Poincianas, Frangipanis in tropical tones and delicate, bright purple Jacarandas. At sunset I see many of the same colors in the clouds and sky before it fades to lavender then gray then blue and black. And when I venture out after dark I see Night Blooming Cereus (see picture) dangling from spindly cactus crawling up Florida’s Sabal Palms.
What I love the most about summer is the daily rainstorm that quenches the flora’s thirst and cools the earth with heavy downpours. Watching a summer rain roll in from a screened-in porch is one of the greatest joys of Florida living.
Even smelling rain on its way, or feeling an incoming cool summer breeze as the rains begin is a classic authentic Florida moment. As the dark menacing clouds approach, the booming sound of thunder and fantastic displays of lightning entertain us more than any motion picture – and it’s live and free.
No matter how you spend your summer, or where, it’s your time to find yourself where the living is easy. Tell me what you love most about your summer. I’d love to hear from you.