Between celebration and end of the party: this will be the rarest summer of our lives
Summer is, above all expectation and desire, desire that you stay with us a little more. Only until autumn arrives. Or winter. Until it’s summer again. What happens is always better than what could have happened. Pablo d’Ors wrote it and referred, I think, to that parallel dimension in which expectations and projections of everything that simply did not happen coexist. They also call it “nostalgia for what never happened” and apply this to potential couples, idyllic vacations, books we did not read. Summers
Concerning this convening power that expectations possess, I read an interview with Isabel Allende in which the writer invented a very graphic concept on the fly, the ‘Christmas tree syndrome’. Imagine for a moment a fir tree and that almost childish illusion of decorating it. We cover it with useless chirimbolos until the fir tree bends over so much load. The branches give way and we hear the chirimbolos shatter against the ground.
The truth is that this year we ran out of spring. They stole it from us. We didn’t hear from her in March, in April, in May, locked up at home while we looked for life through the balconies, avoiding the question about the future, which came, oversized and swollen, in the form of summer.
A summer to which we hung the worst of the sambenitos: that of having to live up to the expectations of three months of storing balls and tinsel by the time the fir arrived. What if ?, And can we ?, What about the beaches, the trips, the hugs and the kisses? Freedom, like this, in capital letters, but also conditional and with the fear of dragging, and then it was July and August. It was summer. More summer than ever
However, when he made his appearance we complained that it was not what we expected. As if there was a certain way of being July, August. Music festivals were missing, this charming restaurant closed, the capacity was 65 people and in the end, we did not go in, and “don’t even think about it without a mask, a moment that I take your temperature”. We did not remember where we came from. Because, although the experts affirm that the fish are the animals with the worst memory, the human being is an animal of a forgetful nature. And suddenly, back in July, August, we forget about spring. We wanted it just as we had imagined it.
The waves, the breeze on the walk, the fruits of the sangria, someone who exclaims the heat it has, the saltpeter on the skin until hours later, the matted hair and the grains of sand. All that.
Summer contains much of celebration, but also of the end of the party, in anticipation of the nostalgia that occurs on Sunday afternoon, the reminder that Monday soon arrives and that month, September, which still marks for some, inherited from school times, the start of the course.
So these months of truce, in which ends and beginnings are confused, are moments of balance, moments for this suggested by Mary Oliver in a poem called Just the summer day, whose last verses say: “Tell me, what should there be done? / Isn’t it true that everything dies in the end, and / so soon? / Tell me, what do you plan to do with your wild and precious life?
It is never a good time to answer big questions. So now that we know that a spring can be stolen from us, and that September is just around the corner, we must take advantage of it as it comes. Summer dry, without adjectives, without hanging too many chirimbolos that later we already know that in the end we ran out of fir.
Laura Ferrero is a writer. His latest novel is titled
‘What are you going to do with the rest of your life’ (Alfaguara).