Summers Now:It's Complicated
If I were to make a Facebook relationship status with summer, it would have to state that “it’s complicated.” It’s funny, I’m writing about old summers in this nostalgia collection I’m working on, and the truth within those lines aims to capture a blissful ignorance that old summers doled out. Summer fun with an invisible shield. Maybe it’s not really ‘funny,’ per-say, maybe it’s just what is.
In summers then, the sun’s rays were welcoming, endearing; kind of like a real good family reunion with cousins you only see at Thanksgiving or something.
Summers now are saturated with skepticism; summers now embody a repulsion to the weather and incorporate a growing animosity towards the heat. When I was younger, I didn’t give much thought to the hot temperatures, the humidity, but now I wish them away, for they render headaches and nausea and lethargy. My mom says that people tend to care more when they get older.
Summers now encompass that first jarringly hot day of the season. There was that time I was standing outside a cafe, stressed and run down with a cold and on the phone with my friend, while slowly maneuvering my way to the parking lot. The sun beat down on me, but it was no friendly visitor. If the sun could talk, it would be most likely be taunting me, like that popular girl who picked on me in middle school. It would most likely be making a mockery of my physical and emotional disposition, which was utterly exacerbated by the sun’s snarky bite.
Summers now feature fewer afternoons spent emulating a mermaid in the atlantic and more days trying to sift through ‘adulthood,’ still encumbered in a transitional period filled with immediate unknowns.
However, there are fragments of our relationship where faith is restored; where the sun is a sweet refuge, emitting an affectionate warmth. Like the afternoon spent on a family friend’s boat, cruising along Long Island’s canals, spotting the Jones Beach amphitheater in the distance; embracing the subtle changes of the water and its natural fluidity, while a slight breeze caresses my face.
Hope is replenished on those cooler summer nights where the entire outside world is my playground. Like the time spent walking through the east village, after sipping on cold saki, and strolling through Chinatown, high from delicious dumplings and sesame chicken and lo-mein.
My summers now are layered, nuanced in difference. But I have this feeling. This feeling that come late August, I’ll miss it all the same.
Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. Her work has been featured on Psych Central, Thought Catalog, Catapult Community, and other online publications. Lauren's e-book “Coping With Life’s Clutter” and her latest book, “The Art Of Nostalgia,” a collection of personal essays, can both be found on Amazon. She loves to be followed on Twitter @LaurenSuval and on Facebook @LaurenSuvalWriting.