Friday, July 26, 2013

SAD: summer affective disorder

I enjoy summer. Yet there is inevitably a mid-point where I begin to freak out about how fast time seems to go, how quick summer wraps up… and this midpoint is usually in July. It’s at this time, when there is still a full month or more of sunny days to enjoy, that I begin to miss summer while she’s still here. It’s the equivalent of missing a person who is sitting across the table from you right now.

And, yet, this lament makes perfect sense to me. Once the Fourth of July wraps up, retail establishments stock their end-caps and seasonal aisles with back to school deals. Television commercials begin rolling out advertising about nabbing the hottest trends for fall. A trip into Macy’s will reveal fall jackets, cute boots, and maybe even a wooly scarf or two. The tents, BBQs, and pool toys are now on sale. These are items of nostalgia, they say, with their red clearance stickers crying out against the more necessary, or more timely, oversized backpacks and spiral notebooks.

It doesn’t help that this past week has featured temperatures more suited to fall. I feel as though, at any moment, a gang of costumed children will walk up to the house and demand treats. I have indeed been tricked. It feels like fall, but it shouldn’t.

I enjoy back-to-school shopping as much as the next writer. It’s a time of new pens, notepads, binder clips, and more. The panic, then, is not about fall approaching. It is about summer’s departure. It is a necessary reminder that time is short, the long days and well-lit evenings will soon come to an end. It is a reminder that there is still time to play, if I take notice.

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