I like the polar bear cradling cubes and smiling, on that store-bought bag of ice. The plastic pitcher with the smiling sun, now collecting dust on my mom's back porch. Several varieties of sunflower seeds hanging on a convenience store vrack. Signs of summer past and present.
When I go out to western Kansas in the summertime, I make sure to go outside late at night. I can walk barefoot in the yard, and the buffalo grass feels crisp and dry under my feet. In eastern Kansas, the grass feels buggy, itchy and wet. I don't enjoy taking my shoes off there. I feel like I have to rinse my feet off afterwards. There are slugs!
But out here, the grass is just grass. It feels clean and empty. The air that blew hot across the porch earlier in the day has turned cool. The wind greets me at the bottom of the steps like a late-night accomplice waiting for me to sneak out when no one's looking. Together we walk into the hugeness of a summer night, under trees that whisper and stretch overhead. Their silent forms create soft shadows across the yard, that I disappear into. All I see and feel is velvet. I circle the house like a stranger, observing the lights I left on. The house an unlikely light in the universe, under a sky holding so many stars. I step back to see the big picture. My placement here, unlikely too.