Summer Breeze, Makes Me Feel Fine
By Lynne Weinberger
I never knew the gentle 70’s singing duo, Seals and Crofts, were bikers. Or Texans. But they had to be -- their song Summer Breeze perfectly captured the sweetly-scented, heavy honeysuckle aura I enjoyed this morning as I rode down some quiet North Texas country roads.
Those of us who wore out their vinyl of the same name in 1972 still remember the lyrics and the slow, soothing melody:
”Summer breeze, makes me feel fine,
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind…”
I couldn’t help but play it over and over in my head. My friend had invited me to go on a morning ride to nowhere in particular, a meandering two-wheeled tour of the back roads north of McKinney, far away from harried morning commuters. Having lived in McKinney for twelve years, and considering myself fairly well-traveled, I’m sorry to say I had never ventured too far off the well-beaten Collin County path before.
This morning’s route took us through small towns like New Hope, Altoga and Celina, past gentle rolling hills, bright green fields and neatly rolled hay bales. There were scenes straight out of Norman Rockwell, had he painted Texas: a small farm with its tidy metal-roof barn and the quintessentially proud and spindly town water tower just behind the grove of trees.
We saw bright-eyed white goats munching their breakfasts, and the sign in the driveway as we rolled past surprised me: ‘Show Goats’. Who knew such an animal existed? We tooled over well-worn bridges bearing sweet names like Honey Creek, and we curved around fields with jet-black cows dotted among the chartreuse background of their calm and quiet world.
Winding up and down a thin two-lane ribbon of asphalt past old-time-sounding places like Cottage Grove, the possibilities of a fresh new day surrounded by God’s gentle creatures - and that sweet, sweet air - seemed endless.
Then there was the longhorn. He didn’t look too gentle, just curious and wary as he tipped his magnificent spread toward us – from the far side of a split-rail fence.
“Sweet days of summer, the jasmine's in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune…”
Yes, it’s already late August, but the feeling still lingers. The slow and steady pace of that old-fashioned, natural and organic world still exists, not too far away from the fast food and mega malls. Granted, the McMansions have begun to sprout up well north of McKinney, and the planned communities with pretend covered wagons at their entrances have moved west, too.
But for this city girl, going to the country, if only for a few hours, felt like coming home.
(Lyrics by James Seals; Music by James Seals & Dash Crofts, 1971)
Written as a brand-new motorcycle driver after my first ride on the back roads of North Texas.
Learned to ride and got my bike at age 52 after my college age son got his.
Best thing I ever did. (The son. And the bike,.).