I think of summer as a relative that comes to visit. You know, that favorite aunt or uncle who greets you with a hug and a smile. The relative delights you with stories and adventures and you can’t believe how much fun you are having – until you realize that it is about to end.
I don’t think the season dies. I merely think summer takes a break. Sometimes, like that aunt or uncle, she comes back for a brief visit before a long absence and you are reminded of all that is humorous and right with the world. Your steps are a little lighter, your stride is stronger. The sun shines brighter.
But eventually she has to catch her bus. She has to go – wherever that mystical place that aunts and uncles go when the Greyhound pulls off yet she doesn’t leave you empty handed.
The souvenirs summer leaves are bountiful — sights, smells, tastes, naps all encased in photos, tans, postcards and memories. These gifts only become stagnant if you don’t visit them, and care for them, and celebrate them even after they have happened. They become stagnant when you don’t remember the sound of the splash of the water, or the warmth of the sun, or the grit of the sand between your toes. They become stagnant when you don’t relish and revisit the sly smile of a child right before they take the first lick of a frozen treat from the first summer ice cream truck.
As the sounds of school buses revving their engines take over the previously quiet mornings, summer takes this as her signal to get on her bus.
But she will be back and, technically, if you hold on to those memories, those adventures, to all of her sounds, smells, tastes and tales – she never really leaves.
A version of this first appeared on Tales from the Poop Deck.