The immortal lyrics of the late George Gershwin perfectly captures the summer vibe: “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.”
While I’m not so sure about the cotton in New England, summer here is still a delicious treat. After all, we live in a region where winter seems endless and spring a mere illusion. Summer means liberation and finally outdoor living. For me, it’s swimming in Crystal Lake, biking in my neighborhood, late sunlight and no coats or boots or gloves. Sandals, sleeveless dresses, wet hair: It’s freedom!
But it goes by so fast.
My late grandmother used to proclaim on July 5, “Summer’s over!” At the time, that seemed a bit over the top, but the older I get, the more I get it. July just speeds by, and before you know it, August is staring you in the face. If June is Friday, then July is Saturday and August is Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong. August is a lovely summer month in its own right, but it’s what it portends that worries me: “back to school,” “end-of-summer” sales and that inevitable letter from my synagogue asking about High Holiday seating. Did you have to remind me? Before we know it, it’s going to be Yom Kippur again.
As a child, summer seemed endless. Overnight camp provided that time warp of eight prolonged weeks that seemed to last for an eternity. But that’s the difference between childhood and adult reality, I guess.
This summer I find myself constantly saying to myself: “Summer, would you please slow down and prolong your presence?” This wish is particularly pronounced due to our ongoing COVID reality, where summer provides so many more opportunities for outdoor socializing and the illusion of normalcy.
So, with a few more days of July to go, I’ll do my best to savor the moment and enjoy the midsummer vibe. Thank goodness July (and August too) has 31 days. It’s a help!
Nothing lasts forever, but for now I’ll try to resist focusing on the inevitable end of precious summer:
“Your daddy’s rich and your mom is good lookin’. So hush little baby, don’t you cry.”
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