For your listening pleasure, this is “Infinite Summer,” by NCZA Lines on the album, Infinite Summer.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.”
Summer is slowly, gracefully making an exit. The days are getting shorter and a little cooler. The light has changed too. You can tell the sun is farther away, but I always thought it was on par with a Luminist painting in August through September, so at least that’s lovely. The back to school frenzy is abruptly pushing at summer’s languid edges. I know that soon this season will be like the proverbial fistful of sand, then even less than that- just tiny grains left behind in your bag and shoes from a beach vacation that seems like a distant dream. I feel doleful, but I will always hold summer in my heart, and I’d like to think it’s part of my elemental makeup.
My birthday is June 12th. Of course I am biased, but it’s a fabulous time to have a birthday. If I were born 100 plus years ago, my parents wouldn’t have to worry about warmth and abundance of food for the family. All pragmatism aside, when I was in the school, my birthday marked the final days of school, yet I was still able to hand out party invitations to classmates. Also, I love being a Gemini. I really do feel that varied vibrancy the sign is said to impart, and my time to shine is late spring through summer. As an adult, birthdays become more of a liability with each passing year, and yet, I always feel younger and fresher in mid June, as does the earth. It’s easy to move with a blithe spirit. I just love how everything is really buzzing with life, the gorgeous flowers like roses and irises are coming out, and the days are so long. Doesn’t everyone?
Shockingly, no. There are a lot of people who like fall better, apparently, at least according to their Facebook posts. I used to think that I was one of those people years ago. I loved October with a passion, yet had a near mental breakdown every time it came around. I was a melancholy soul years ago, living out of harmony with my true nature. I avoided the sun and laughter as if they were the plague. Obviously, I was depressed, and thought it was just my personality. After reading some of my journals through the years, I realized that I had the same yearly pattern, and was much sadder in the fall and winter. I wasn’t crazy, I probably have seasonal affective disorder. But I looked so cool in my layers of dark clothing.
Which brings me to the importance of what I’ve dubbed “transeasonal fashion.” I would say that September and March (and sometimes April) are the hardest seasons to dress for since the weather is in such flux. I rarely live by fashion rules, but I do have a few. White after labor day is no big deal, but, on the flipside, please don’t break out the boots and sweaters until at least late September. What’s the rush? It’s winter in NEPA forever, and you’ll have plenty of time to parade around in that stuff. Also, keep your velvet underground between mid-March and late September, or else something beautiful and refined becomes tacky. Who am I fooling, most people don’t wear velvet. I like to approach my transeasonal dressing with hints of both seasons in way that looks like they can get along. For instance, a romper with bell sleeves worn with tights and cool boots in late September. Or maybe a long sleeve printed shirt with a more summery flowing skirt in earlier September.The sartorial challenges keep me distracted from pining for summer.
Mentally, I have built my year around summer. I do believe that that nature lives for summer, for it is then that she shows off her finest work. She goes all out and is accessorized to the max, and it just works.Yet, I know that all amazing times must end, so I judge every other season by its proximity to summer. Of course, spring is the dear though meeker sister, stepping aside for the true debutante. Fall is the trickster vixen who seduces everyone into thinking it’s okay that summer has ended, there’s a new kind of beauty in town! Until we are faced with the bleak reality of November, and afterward the nasty and unspeakable harridan that is winter. Winter’s only saving grace is that eventually it ends and gives way to spring. So, maybe fall is the real villain here? At any rate, during the most bitter moments of winter, I close my eyes and conjure up my most ambrosial summer days because I know that they are truly a part of me and will return. On the first day of winter, I begin counting the days until spring and summer the way some people count the days until Christmas starting in November. Don’t get me started on Christmas, the least wonderful time of the year (another blog post, perhaps).
If I could hold summer in a bottle, I would. But seasons are free, and transient. I guess that is part of their beauty. I vow to take a walk every nice day, and absorbed every molecule of summer that I can into my being. My summer to do list is never finished, but I collect a collage of beautiful memories nonetheless. We have until September 21st, after all. Don’t let the fall lovers fool you, with premature pumpkin spice coffees in their hands, and pumpkins on their porches. Summer doesn’t give a damn, darling, she’s still traipsing about for a bit, and will certainly leave an impression.