At the end of October, probably as the last person in Poland, I have finally realized that summer is over. Duh. Even though I do believe that both winter and fall have their own charm, they never were my favorite seasons. Each and every year my way of dealing with loss and saying goodbye to MY beloved season starts with denial. When denying the obvious becomes, well, a little bit embarrassing, I reach a state of anger. I become furious that I somehow missed another summer, even though I had more time this year and didn’t even go abroad. I’m still not saturated with fresh berries, didn’t spend enough time in my parents’ summer house, didn’t ride my bike often enough, didn’t stretch on warm grass as much as I would like to, didn’t go for as many long walks with the dog as I could, haven’t had enough ice-cream, warm evenings out, and definitely there weren’t enough picnics! I begin to consider possible approaches: hibernation, moving to a warmer country, hoping for an unexpected return of sunny and warm days without the need for all the constricting layers of clothing, in my favorite feather-weight dress…
In face of the melancholy I reached for the photos from this summer, spent mostly at home, and I have to admit something. The pictures tell that apart from endless hours spent in the kitchen of mine (and of others) creating, carving in and photographing food alternated with time spent worrying (not visible in the pictures) I have managed to also (!) find time to: eat ice-cream, travel with bikes, cars and trains: on an orange school bus in the countryside, in an old convertible on the highway, in a camper full of toys babysitting a two year old; I even refused to travel on a tractor decorated for the harvest festival. I have slept on many beds and trembled from cold on a foam mattress in a tent. I have picked radishes and herbs, watched frogs, collected snails and slugs, walked barefoot, swung in hammocks, threw frisbee and swam. I drunk wine on a plaza and beer in a hostel. I made fires and watched for falling stars from the sleeping bag. I got excited with sunsets like it was the first time. I laid flat in the park charging batteries like a reptile and slept on benches like a bum. I visited new places as well as the sentimental ones. I played a part in a community garden and a shop. I picked cherries in the country and I danced till dawn on concrete in the city center. I grinned at a wedding and cried at a funeral. I giggled with a friend. I hugged and got hugged. I met new people and traveled with complete strangers. I told them important private stuff and flooded them with babble. I was soaked in rain, cold and trembling as well as warm and toasty. I even had my re-debut in solo traveling after.. 17 years!
If I took more pictures I would probably have to admit to many more good experiences of this ordinary summer after a great journey. I am grateful for reminders like these, contradicting the permanent “never enough” state. Hereby I declare:
1. Last summer was beautiful and beautiful enough.
2. Winter is coming. Resistance is futile.
3. Summer will be back.