I’ve always loved the idea of summer more than summer itself. When I think of summer, I think of possibilities. Maybe I’ve read too many YA novels, where the season often represents an idyllic in-between time when anything is possible. Maybe that’s why I love YA novels so much. Everything in your life can change between May and September.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz describes it this way in his book Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe:
I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.”
In reality, summers are less glamorous. They’re hot, humid, and don’t even get me started on the mosquitos! Growing up on an apple orchard, summer meant long hours of tedious farm labor: crawling up and down ladders and digging up weeds in the dirt. Even when I worked as a camp counselor and the season was everything it’s promised to be, I never got enough sleep, was perpetually dirty, and there were always campers to care for.
Every year, I go into the warm months with rose-tinted glasses. I’m filled with so many ideas for all the people I will see and adventures we will have. Every year, I reach the middle of August and realize all I did was sit at home, mow the lawn, and read a lot of books.
This summer, though, I wanted things to be different.
This summer, I wanted to believe.