We were hiding in a concrete ditch, a storm drain meant to guide rainfall for conservation. It rarely rains here in San Diego, so the irrigation system was as dry as sandpaper on chapped lips. We heard the voices of two jabbering ladies in the distance. They were getting closer with every word, every footstep. As their sound grew louder, we quieted ourselves to a somber whisper.

We were dressed in the perfect camouflage for a dry chaparral, wearing only dark brown & black. A far cry from the normally bright colors I tend to sport. I guess it was meant to be. We lurked undetected like a hungry lioness hunting for zebra. The women walked by; they never saw us from our post. 

Our initial plan was to spend some time outside. We, Winona & I, had stopped by our favorite brewery for a growler of beer. We had each chugged a glass of water & took the plastic cups with us on our journey. We traipsed up the beaten path & into the ditch as a sign of solitude. A place where we could talk in peace, in nature. However, the constant sound of footsteps around us altered the purpose of the excursion.

piece of summer

The ditch was surrounded by native plants. Some were green but many were dry. A hummingbird fluttered by our heads. Winona carefully poured the brew into our miniature cups. I took a photo of her on my disposable camera. We slowly sipped & murmured faintly, as a man & his dog walked by. It felt like we were undercover detectives, staking out for our suspect. But in truth we were suspect ourselves, hiding there from humanity.

We were surrounded by trees & bushes with dry branches that scratched your bare legs ruthlessly. A sense of adventure can't be purchased. The tempting sun caressed the back of my neck. The California summer day began its metamorphosis into the California summer night. Daylight started to fall behind the mountains in the distance. We sat there tacitly commenting on the pastel sunset unfolding before us. A true beauty.

The last slurps of beer were consumed. The last of the evening trekkers passed by. The last rays of light vanished. Even the twilight turned into twinkling stars. Was it just another night? Or just another memory? Perhaps. But to me, it was a piece of summer.

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How do you interpret this story? What's your favorite thing about summer?

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