The Work of a Summer

It was the summer of '98, the summer I turned 17. It was the summer before my senior year of high school and it was the best summer of my life.

That wasn't the year we went on a fancy vacation nor did I have the grand romance I'd always dreamed of. Instead, I spent the entire summer in my room cross-stitching and watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Every day. For three months.

To some, that may sound torturous, a gigantic waste of a summer vacation. To me, it was heaven on earth. Each day I'd wake up to the sound of birds chirping outside my window. I'd get up and have a bowl of cereal. Then I'd press Play on the VCR and get to work.

My aunt had given me this little cross-stitch pattern earlier in the year and it took me the entire three months to finish. I worked it up in burgundy because that's the color that came in the kit. I really appreciated the simplicity of just one color, the maturity of the silhouette-like pattern.

cross stitch

Even though I didn't set foot outside that whole summer, I savored every long, calm, summery moment. I remember the soft breeze through the windows, the flutterings of the curtains. I remember the hot, muggy days and the the cool, crisp thunderstorms. I remember the sound of birds and lawnmowers. I remember Buffy kicking some vampire butt and wishing I was like her, but not really because she wasn't into cross-stitching.

I remember feeling totally peaceful, totally in harmony with the world, with my tiny little piece of it. I think back now and I can't believe it happened, that I was content to sit, day after day, stitching little x's and fast forwarding through commercials. It was pure bliss and I don't regret a moment.

Now that I have a job and obligations and time moves so quickly, I'm thankful I had that one perfectly lazy summer. I treasure the memory of those simple days before real life started, my very last summer vacation.

I found this pattern while cleaning the other day and it all came flooding back. And I just had to cross-stitch something, even though I only had time for something small. It's not the work of an entire summer but it'll do for now.

cross stitch