yes, the cry of summer fun.
matter how long I think and regardless of the memories I recall,
I cannot remember a time when I heard that shout and was not in
those that may not be familiar with them, horseflies are humungous
beasts known to pick up small children and carry them away.
are bloodthirsty monsters that hunt in packs and…
fine… again, no.)
with an understandable lack of any and all scientific realities,
horseflies are mosquitos.
please note, I did clarify that a bit with the “understandable
lack of any and all scientific realities” comment. Horseflies
are not mosquitos. I know that. But… then again… to a child in
a pool… yeah.
buzz and they pester… and they bite. But they’re not mosquitos.
Oh no. Horseflies are bigger and can more easily be encountered
throughout the day. So, you know, much more annoying to a child
spending a summer day in a pool.
the first warning was based on a true sighting. And the response
was simple enough: take a deep breath and dive, dive, dive. Almost
always though, things would spin out of control.
breath and dive.
and back under the water.
whatever air you can and head for safety. Those nasty creatures
won’t follow us into the depths.
“Horsefly!” “Horsefly!” “Horsefly!”
eventually it would wear really, really thin. To the point where
kids would be surfacing, water pouring across faces and spraying
into the air, and another warning would come before anyone had
even opened their eyes…
had begun as a warning—“Hey, look out, there’s a horsefly buzzing
around”—had turned into kids, with their eyes closed, ducking
and diving and splashing around in a pool.
long as there really wasn’t a horsefly hunting you, with nasty
big pointy teeth, it was fun and exciting. Pool fun. A game. Hardly
worthy of thinking about the boy who cried wolf. (Anyone for a
round or two of Marco Polo? Or perhaps making a whirlpool? Cool.
Let’s do it.)
so often though, I still encounter horsefly moments in my life.
When I see people talking… and, more accurately, screaming… warnings
and cautions. And far too often, these cries are coming from people
far and long removed from the original message they pretend to
be sharing. They are calling through a spray of water, while gasping
for breath, without opening their eyes.
miss those long lost days of innocence. I miss those days of riding
bikes to the tennis courts in the morning, coming back for lunch
and heading to the pool, playing some form of baseball throughout
the afternoon, and then figuring out which one of the kids would
get their parents to host dinner and extend an invitation for
a sleepover. I miss the days when—as long as you didn’t get bitten—warning
each other about horseflies was kind of fun.
won’t wander too deeply into the television and radio and internet
and more of today. I don’t want to provide specifics (or even
generalities) when my mind keeps wandering to the sunny days of
youth. I just don’t want to cry out about wolves and horseflies.
I don’t want to compare them.
yeah… I do miss it. The innocence. The fun. The quick gasp for
breath and return under the waves. The cries don’t mean quite
the same these days. And I really wish they did.