This Texas summer starts with water

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I remember looking up through several feet of water and being able to make out the surface but not knowing how to get to the air above.

It was summertime and we were visiting family in North Carolina. I’d never seen trees so tall or forest so thick. I’d never not been able to see the sun rise and set on the horizon. We had driven out to the ocean and I was pulled out by the high tide with my sister and a cousin. I don’t remember who brought me back to the shore.

Often, I will think about that day and remember the sand. I’ve never really liked beaches or the ocean, or lakes for that matter.

The month of May is when summer starts, according to the academic calendar some of us still live by and who others eulogize.

This May, I read Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Tartt’s The Goldfinch. I inhaled both books — my favorite way of reading.

What captures me now is how water plays a role in both books and certainly played a role in this year’s month of May. I can’t help but imagine Mr. Wind-Up sitting on Mr. Barbour’s boat. Or perhaps Mr. Barbour would find peace down in Mr. Okada’s well.

I imagine both of them watching the water rise, passively. As passively as I reacted to the tornado warning in Austin or the water pool in the yard when it rained over Memorial weekend.

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