HomeDIY CraftTiny Love Stories: Oh, August!

Tiny Love Stories: Oh, August!

August in a West Virginia sunflower field; It is morning but it is already hot. Charlie’s blue helmet is surrounded by brilliant yellow flowers. He smiles when I see other babies among the sunflower stalks. I envy their round heads, shapely faces, bare scalps. Suddenly, I remembered Charlie’s scent, so I leaned under his helmet to kiss him on the cheek. “Why can’t I have a helmet like Charlie’s?” My older son is moaning, tugging at my shorts. It sowed a seed of envy, which is also the root of my own problems: Believing our gifts are a burden, an inability to recognize our own blossoming. , Anna Rollins

Each of us had come to the lake with our hearts open and our choosing clear. I waited tables at the resort where townspeople flocked for lobster and loon songs. She washed the dishes, I passed her by the steel kitchen table. He reached out to me with his cool, gloved hands. I offered him shells and husks, my hopeful smile. After work we met by the water. If we were patient, across the serene glow of the lake would come the sound of the loon, the peace we had traveled so far to find, a twinkle of fireflies as his eyes met mine. , nicola waldron

“Nana” means maternal grandfather in Hindi and Urdu. Though both of you speak, we spend time together in silence in the hot summer of Delhi. We start each day with a crossword puzzle and end it with a game of cards. We dry mangoes and make pickles out of them, feed leftover bread to cows and make model aeroplanes. When we talk, I ask you about serving in the Indian Air Force, your migration from Lahore to Amritsar during Partition. Every July on my birthday, I ask what my mother was like at my age. I tell you that you are the best Nana, and you just smile softly and hold my hand. , Anisha Chadha

Black ink spills onto Renee’s wet poster, blurring the words “Black Lives Matter”. After some time apart, we met again at his condo, making posters over the bed we shared. It was raining in Toronto that day. Hundreds of feet of water gushed into puddles on Yonge Street. People raised slogans, “No justice, no peace.” Renee chanted with me. He’ll never understand what it’s like to be in my skin. But that day, for that protest, he marched beside me. He marched for me. , Daniel Reale-Chin

My childhood summers were measured in chunks. Crooked docks and craggy playgrounds—the true hallmarks of an adventure day—were somewhat to blame. Despite their frequency, I took each piece as a novelty, fresh weeping over the wound. I found improvement in the form of patience of my great uncle. I sat cross-legged by his koi pond while Uncle Freddy was hauling away the pieces of wood. His process was simple: break, bandage, smile. I had to pay the price for my cooperation. One successful extraction resulted in me getting a maraschino cherry straight from the jar. As a child, the treat was very sweet. , Haley Kachmar

When my ex-husband died this summer, I didn’t think I was grieving, but my body told a different story. I didn’t sleep well, ate too much and mistakenly went to my old home instead of my current home. Friends wrote sympathy notes saying they hoped I would “treasure the good times.” I was surprised that I could do it. In the old photos that our adult children have asked for, I can see how much fun we were having. I can see that me and my ex-wife were crazy about each other. This may be another gift of aging: It’s still possible to harbor joys, without dismissing the terrible times. , Wendy Lichtman

I met Katie at the height of the Louisiana summer. On our first date, we drank beer and killed mosquitoes in the park. On our second day, it rained and I noticed that Katie’s hair grew three times as long as mine in the humidity. The pandemic meant meeting outside. Outside meant heat, and heat meant the dissolution of any appearances. Now, a year later, we drive with the windows down and take afternoon walks. We often say that our body melts like chocolate. Most people in Louisiana dread this weather, but we spend our days in love and sunshine, melting close to each other. , Sneha Yadalpati

One recent summer evening, my husband and I sat by the fire pit in our house north of Chicago, watching the flames dance by, feeling tired but satisfied. If anyone was watching us, they would probably have thought, now there is a couple with nothing to talk about. But, after 38 years of marriage — and one day of biking and working in the backyard — I thought, Who else could I do this with? Who else would I want to do this with? Hours later, we checked the coals, covered the pit, and headed for bed without saying anything. , ellen blum barish


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