I spend most of my time wondering how Jackson Browne could write this song when he was just 16 years old. I remember being 16 years old. I had a pair of red lotto shorts that I wore with a tan polo shirt. I remember being quite confident in that ensemble, but it never gave me the confidence to write a song like These Days. In fact, I never wrote any song because I’m not a musician and for the life of me I cannot figure out how song writers avoid accidentally stealing riffs and melodies from songs that were already written. If I knew how to write music and I really set my mind to it I’m sure I’d write something that stole a melody from Blink 182 and a bass line from Nirvana and I’d end up being sued. But no one even downloaded the song!, I’d plead as they led me away in cuffs, with my family shaking their heads in the shadows of the tall building where my fate was gaveled while my competitors stood in the sunshine trying so very hard to conceal their glee.
But those aren’t the days I’m talking about. I’m talking about these days. The days this week. The days this month. The days that we have left. This summer has been an all-time summer. The weather has been quite wonderful, unless you’re relegated to weekend visits only, then your interpretation of the weather might be somewhat less positive. There has been ample sun, appropriate summer heat, and just enough rain to keep our plants and trees and lawns mostly alive. The day-tripping covid visitors have largely left us alone this summer, and my only complaint about a Sunday afternoon spent lakeside is the cigarette boat that identifies as a fly in my otherwise tasty bowl of punch.
A meaningful benefit of a summer with weather that starts early and persists is that I continue to check the calendar, feeling as though I’m running out of time, and yet, each time I check I still have many days, weeks, and perhaps months of summer left. I sense the summer slipping through my chubby summer fingers, but I’m delighted to see that there’s still time. Still time to make things right. Still time to get on the boat. Still time to sit on the pier. To jump in the water. To sit in the shade on a bench and wonder why I haven’t done more of this bench sitting in my life. Still time to walk the shore path to lose that sympathy weight I put on when my wife was pregnant nineteen years ago. It’s beautifully sunny today and the air is dry and the lake is blue and we all still have plenty of time.