Summer Woes and Wonts

by perpetualflaneur

In less than a month, summer will finally be here. The dry scent of grass, the heat pricking our skin, sweat dripping like never before, the sun brighter as ever, and days longer than usual–ah, yes, the hot and sweet flavor of summer will soon be touching our taste buds. In my anticipation, I can’t help but recall my childhood memories of summer and compare it to the most recent ones I’ve had.

Summer has always been one of those seasons, since moving in North America, that I struggle with. My relationship with it has faltered through the years, and I hope that it gets better. Soon. Coming from a tropical country, it should be expected of me to be accustomed to the heat and sweat of summer. I should be one of those people who should be the first ones to run to the beach or at least be fearlessly walking under the sun. Unfortunately, I do not live up to this stereotype (not entirely sad about failing to do so). Summer here in Los Angeles is something that I should get used to. Apart from living in a very urban area, the dry heat actually gets into you. It pokes through your skin and burns quickly like dry leaves under a magnifying glass. Nevertheless, I have nothing but beautiful memories of summer.

In my childhood, summer provided much consolation, especially during my school days. Summer to me then was like Christmas or Spring Break, only it lasts longer and offers more time for fun and loafing around with friends and family. With only two seasons in the Philippines, summer starts earlier. It starts when school is over in March and ends when school starts in June. So, yes, those months in between are moments of paradise, of youthful bliss. Perhaps, as the youngest child, my memories of summer are different from my siblings’, theirs were also filled with rising early in the morning and chores. I do recognize that during those times being the youngest had given me advantages, and somehow, I’d been partially spared from daily chores.

My childhood summer consists of running around and under the sun,waking up late, playing outside in the afternoon, sleeping in a make-shift tent under a table, sleeping late most of the time, playing roughly with my siblings, spending almost all day in my neighbor’s house, or visiting distant relatives over the weekends and so forth. I’ve even ventured on my creative side by making my own toys or by experimenting with water, baby powder, and some soil. Think of Bob the Builder and Dora the Explorer meshed together to form my childhood persona. My imagination directed how and what I was going to create and play with at that time. Of course, I probably had gone through some bad stuff, and my memory seems to have kept them aside for now, but that does not stop me from appreciating those endless summers.

For a child like me then, summer was something to look forward to, but now it seems monotonous to me. There goes my dilemma: how much I valued summer then was dependent on my being a student. And now that I have removed myself from the world of academia and as I assimilate into a career-oriented world, I find myself at a loss. Is summer, both in season and in experiences, really only a memory from my past? Is it really over for those who are no longer students? I certainly hope not!

So, here is my plea, dear summer, I hope that we can both reconcile our differences. Let’s work on our relationship. I want to regain that happy relationship we had. Yes, I’ve aged a bit, and you on the other hand have gotten a little intense in the past few years (I do blame global warming because of that too!), but please, oh please, I am ready to start anew. Be kind to me. Under your gracious heat, sprinkle some good old summer love on me and revive my youthful bliss as I still have so much of that, seeing how I am still in my early twenties and have ample supply. So, here is hoping for a better summer this year and onwards!