Sometimes it takes the coldest and windiest of days to make us remember summer the best.
Sometimes it's the shivers that stir the mind, and you think, 'yes. i remember that once upon a time...yes, and it was warm all day long. And you didn't even think twice about it.'
Sometimes it's the taste. A peach, swimmy with syrup - that makes you recollect what fresh is. It's like the flavour of summer stopped in time; bottled, sealed and labelled in the cupboard. Summer flavour in January, no less. That certainly jogs the memory.
And sometimes, it's the touch. The fabric, the shell; it moves your memory to a certain afternoon. You think about the way it feels to go barefoot, and the road you took to that store.
It all helps me remember. A few August days, and how we drove to where the orchards are, and the friendly faces, and how we had jam for breakfast. We listened to the blues on the way back, the car loaded down, almost overflowing. We took some unexpected turns, and followed the antique signs, and were determined to find that fabric store.
And when we got home, we sat on the porch in the rumbling, drippy beginnings of an evening's summer storm, and peeled peaches until dark. I made six bottles of jam that night. We were giddy with stickiness and juice stains.
I finally used that fabric a few weeks ago - on a day when the roads couldn't be travelled - and the wind whistled (really and truly) around the window. It helped me recall - and I thought about the gifts of last summer.
And I thought, sometimes, the remembrance is all that gets us through the stormiest of days. When things are cold. When things are dark. When closed roads keep you from others. Remember the early sun-up mornings, the touch of sweet on your tongue, the smoke of bonfires, smiles in the dusk of a late-night porch sitting. Remember the Grace.