If Memorial Day is the beginning of summer and Labor Day is the end of it, then the 4th of July is the point at which I start thinking about autumn. I daydream about hot lattes in warm mugs, about new jeans and smart, structured jackets and that crisp smell of a cool morning.
I didn't know I didn't like summer until a few years ago--probably when we moved back to the Southeast from Minnesota. Growing up in Virginia, I understood and even felt the magic of summer every year--the muggy mornings, cicadas chirping away in the distance, fireflies flickering in the early evening. My brother and I used to set off into the streets of our suburban neighborhood for giant games of flashlight tag with our summer friends--the kids who we didn't go to school with but were inseparable from every summer vacation. No school, no worries, just pools and sprinklers and popsicles all day. I get it.
But this weekend Rob was home and we did something we don't usually do--we went clothes shopping. He and I will occasionally buy ourselves a new shirt or pair of shoes here and there, but it was a holiday weekend and there were sales and we're moving to California, so we basically bought ourselves a new wardrobe for the Bay Area.
I've been feeling so up and down about the prospect of moving across the country, but this weekend made me feel even more hopeful than I have before. Maybe it was sweating through upper 90-degree afternoons, or maybe it was coming to the realization that I'm going to need more jeans and a new jacket for fall in California. A lot of it was just being reunited with Rob for a long weekend. But I think most of it is that part of me that always comes around this time of year--the one who doesn't want to wish the summer away, but can't seem to help it.
I am learning, a little bit more every day, to just be. That it's okay to be excited for the future, and sometimes it's okay to dread it a little bit too. Summer is here. There are friends to laugh with and rosé to drink. The mosquitos will bite. But fireflies will flicker; and big, fat, pink peonies will gloriously open up in the vase you place by the kitchen sink.
And autumn will come around eventually.