Summer blues

Friday night I slept in an air conditioned bedroom with a pond view. Last night’s sleep, when it finally came, was under a heavier quilt than I’ve used in months and with windows open wide.

While there are still more hot days and humid nights to come, summer is definitely waning. The sunrises are later and darkness seems to come far too early, especially when you’re trying to squeeze every moment from a season which feels particularly brief during this second summer of surviving a pandemic.

Jeter is stretched out at my feet. His fur looks, and feels, particularly fluffy and smells of pond water if you inhale deeply. After a week filled with long walks and multiple daily swims, he’s tired, but oh so happy to have once again visited his summer paradise. If you ever want to witness pure canine joy, stop by Herring Pond on a late August afternoon. I think that pond might be the only thing that Jeter loves more than he loves me.

For the past five Augusts this dog and I have spent a week in a place I never imagined existed. This magical house, recently painted a gorgeous shade of blue, has become the place where friends gather to share time, laughter, meals and conversations. And wine. Lots of wine.

The week in Wellfleet is something I look forward to all year and when it ends, I’m always melancholy. I’m not sure exactly why that is, but there are some obvious reasons. My summer off from school is nearly over and I spend time considering what I did (and didn’t) accomplish during my time off from work. Cape Cod is also usually the last time I get away for more than a night or two until the holidays, a stretch of time that seems very distant on a blue sky still-summer day. Factor in the natural beauty of the location and it’s easy to understand how a person might feel sad at the thought of not being there again until next year.

This year, I was even more down than usual when I returned to Albany. While my summer was certainly filled with many wonderful moments spent with people I dearly love, there’s no escaping the fact that it didn’t really go quite the way I had imagined it would way back in May. The romance that I thought would last for multiple seasons turned out to be almost as brief as that period of time when we collectively thought Covid’s domination was finally coming to an end.

Ultimately, though, my sadness comes more from the sense that I indulged too much while at the beach this year. I don’t know if I was trying to fill that freshly exposed empty spot with wine induced laughter, but I’ve been reminded that too much wine often results in lapsed judgment, inadvertently hurt feelings and embarrassment.

Instead of ruminating over a failed romance, my focus should be on the friends, of both the two-legged and four-legged variety, who actually stick around. I know the years that I get to enjoy them are finite and I’d like to reflect back on memories and feel a sense of satisfaction that can only come from having been really present. Our time together is so brief, I’d like to ensure that the recollections I retain of our shared adventures be distinct and crisp – even more so than a delightfully chilled Sauvignon Blanc.

Vintage wine may be delicious and sometimes hard to resist, but long lasting friendships mean much more to me. Blue is a great color for houses and water, but not as a descriptor of my mood. It’s time to curtail my consumption of whites, rosés and reds for awhile.

How’s your end of summer going? Any changes you feel compelled to explore as the seasons shift?


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