Summer Nights

Summer Nights2

She sat inside on that rainy day when the trees’ branches were conducting and water fell from the sky. Seeing each individual droplet on its way down to earth, she imagined laying down outside right now, feeling the droplets hit her skin before they met the ground. She imagined the approaching summer season and drifted from the calm storm to hopeful summer nights. The warmth of the nightly campfire, the tingling taste of sweet S’mores, the smiles from her family illuminating in the night, the laughs that would echo through the hills, she remembered her summer nights with her family in Canada when she was young. But now her daydreams looked different.

All my summers were spent at camp since I was four years old. The first time my mom dropped me off at camp, I cried because I didn’t want her to leave. But when she came to pick me up, I cried because I didn’t want to leave. From then on, all my summers were spent at camp. For almost three months, I was tie-dying T-shirts, playing sports, swimming, making crafts, getting hit in the face with dodgeballs, and creating friendships.

Every other couple of summers, we’d take a family trip to Canada. It was always one of my favorite vacations because it wasn’t very different from camp (other than the bottomless margaritas my mom had with her sister and cousin). My sister and I would swim all day in the pool until our fingers turned to prunes and then at night, cuddled under fuzzy blankets, we’d roast marshmallows over the campfire and laugh under the moon.

And today I realized, it’s crazy what time can do to your summers.

With the current coronavirus pandemic and the summer season coming closer and closer into view, it’s hard to imagine what this summer would look like. All I can picture is the room I’m currently sitting in––and have been sitting in for the past two months. I wanted to picture what my new summers would look like. Finally going back to Canada, this time, wrapped up in a blanket with a summer love, still roasting marshmallows, and still laughing until our cheeks couldn’t take any more happiness.

I wanted to picture open roads, dynamic car conversations, ice-cold beers, smoke from the grill, spontaneous adventures, the smell of chlorine and sunscreen on my skin after a long day outside, and taking risks.

Summer is all about being free––free from work and school, free from your normal daily routine, and free from (a few) responsibilities. But with the situation we’re currently in, we have to sacrifice those summer days––those summer nights. Yet that’s the thing about every summer, they’re all different. The people we hang out with, the things we do, the risks we take, change every year.

Her mind went back to the rain, the calm sound the droplets made when they hit the leaves on the tree just outside her window. She no longer wanted to think about the improbable. She wanted to think about the rain dancing on her skin.

“Summer dreams ripped at the seams, but oh those summer nights”– Grease

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