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I Learned From My Mother the Magic of Summer

Joined: 6/30/2011
Posts: 5
As nuances of amber embraced the warm sun, velvety shades of red and orange stretched across the summer sky. I looked out my window and saw the cloudless canvas bestow upon the city a soft, golden glow. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it,” my mother remarked, her voice mellow, “the summer sunset.”
“Yeah, it sure is,” I smiled.
“You know, I have always watched the sunset during the summer.”
“Mom,” I laughed, “I had no idea that you were such a romanticist.”
A smile graced over her features, “Well,” she winked, “summertime is magic.”
I listened for more.
In July of 1971, just before the sun descended beneath the horizon, my mother took an excursion to collect mulberry leaves. As she strolled down the sidewalk, the cicadas on nearby trees sang whimsically into her ears. My mother hummed friskily to the buzzing sounds and picked the freshest leaves she could find, tucking them carefully into the paper box under her arm. “I always pick the greenest leaves for my silkworms,” my mother laughed, “I doted them; I thought they were the cutest pets.”
Just before supper, my mother helped my grandmother set the tables. Often, the neighbors dined outside of their houses when the night was unbearably warm. Every family had its door open, filling the streets with the sweet scent of rice and vegetables. After supper, the children gathered to tell scary stories at the porch while their mothers sat in rocking bamboo chairs and gossiped.
“There were no refrigerators, so we used the well to keep things cool during the summer.” When the time was right, my mother and her friends retrieved watermelons they had left in the well to share with their families. The watermelons, kept cool by the water, never tasted so sweet and satiating on a summer night. And when the sun disappeared beyond the horizon, the cicadas quieted on their trees. Only the people’s carefree laughter rang throughout the night. “Even though we didn’t have computers or microwaves,” my mother reminisced, “I remember that I was always happy during the summer.”
That night, I turned off my computer and offered to take a walk with my mother. As we strolled down the pavement, the sound of cicadas that buzzed incessantly against our ears eventually waned into a soft lull. I relaxed in the cool air, and suddenly, the nostalgic moments of my mother’s summer appeared before my eyes. As her crisp, frolic laugh echoed in my ears, I felt that something was missing from my summer all this time, something special and sublime. For many years, I missed out on summer by sitting in front of the computer or watching television. Perhaps the season of summer is really special; perhaps there was something beatifically warm about this season that brings people together. I smiled at myself and the culmination of my epiphany. Then, I hugged my mother and whispered into her ear, “You were right, summertime is magic.”
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Parents writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4:24:44 PM
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Comment by randomcat

Joined: 6/30/2011
Posts: 5
Thank you!!
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011 2:43:02 AM
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
I wanted to personally let you know that your essay is a runner up for the June 2011 writing contest.


Thanks for sharing your voice on We look forward to reading more of your viewpoints on the site!
Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 6:23:52 PM
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