Time always takes on a new meaning in the summer. The days are longer, and somehow appear to be abundant when we stand at the first day of June and look at the distant mark of the end of August. The truth is that these long days and broad stretch are a trompe l’oeil - summer’s irony of ironies is that there is never enough time, there are never enough days to catch up with everything.
The days run ahead of you with assumptions of availability for pieces that far outnumber the parts. Three international festivals? Of course there will be time to participate in these rare cultural activities and attend at least one event in each. Friends and relatives visiting from abroad? How can you not find time to see them and catch up when they’ve traveled all the way to Lebanon for such a short trip (and one day, I’ll figure out how they manage to overlap their trips so well). Postponed trips and home projects? Isn’t the summer a better time as it gets so much busier in the fall? (The answer is no, by the way, but you ignore that logic and push on.)
Yes, the summer is the sneakiest trick you play on yourself. You beat yourself up for not making the most of the season to kick back and relax (no doubt a throw away from the days of aimless school summer vacations), while straining your schedule with all sorts of delicately dated events that fit around festival calendars and travel schedules of others, not to mention work deadlines that don’t get the memo to go away for the summer.
And so you arrive as we do now, at the start of August, where suddenly the end of summer appears within sight, and you panic. First, you panic at all the summer plans and promises that you still have not met, then you panic that you’re going to slip back into the usual fall-winter race without having filled up on summer rest.
One summer soon, I will manage to wear out my swimsuit in one season as we used to so so many years ago. For now, I’ll practice the grand summer tradition of hope, and look out at the season from inside my office window as the inevitable thought slowly rises “Next summer, I’m going to …”
Summer is a sneaky trick, but luckily, we never learn.