And Summer Begins

For some people, summer begins on Memorial Day. Others mark the start of the season at the June solstice. But for me, summer began today, when I cut open my first watermelon of the year. And the first bite nearly made me weak in the knees.
My love affair with watermelon has been well documented. I have craved watermelon ever since I can remember, salivating at the sight of a green-striped rind.
About a week and a half ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought, “I really, really want some good watermelon.” This would seem like one of those sudden pregnancy cravings, except I feel this way every year.
Soon after, we went to a party at the home of some acquaintances. As we were being shown around their house, I spied watermelon in the kitchen and pointed it out to Lee.
He said, “You’re not going to embarrass me, are you?”
I could make no promises, but told him, “I’ll try not to.” But I already had visions of swiping the bowl and hiding in the corner with it, threatening anyone who tried to come near. Like Millie when she gets an especially good treat.
But for the sake of appearances, I merely tasted a few bites and tried not to break out into hives because I couldn’t have more.
Today, we went to the grocery store and I picked out my very own watermelon from the big box in the produce section. When I got it home and sliced it open, I was not disappointed. A beautiful red color. A nice, firm texture. And sweet. So sweet. As I cut it into pieces, I think 2 went into my mouth for every one in the bowl.
No watermelon will ever taste as good as the ones we ate straight off the ground at my grandparents’ farm. But this one – chilling in the fridge – will definitely hit the spot on a hot Savannah afternoon.