Summer was my favorite season as a child, which as an adult has led to a fall tradition of realizing summer is almost over and wistfully listening to all the songs about summer I meant to enjoy while it was still in full bloom. A non-exhaustive list includes Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey (for obvious reasons), Trains by Porcupine Tree (“always the summer is slipping away / find me a way of making it stay”), and Stolen by Dashboard Confessional (“before the gold and the glimmer have been replaced / another sun-soaked season fades away”). Living in places where good weather and/or daylight hours dwindle in fall encourages this summertime melancholia like nobody’s business.
So it was strange, from 2021’s spring into 2022’s fall, to experience over a year of “summer”—which is to say, a weather pattern my northern European brain registered as such. The season I’d previously struggled to hold onto just kept going. My life was in weird and often painful limbo—between moves, no publishing progress, frequent housing setbacks, loss—and outside just stayed pleasant. Pleasant included torrential rain at times, but it never stuck around.
Summer stuck, though. And I don’t think my mind or body knew what to do with it. Through and even before the pandemic I’d relied on changing seasons to create a pattern I could fall into. The changing angles of light; the first day of wearing my winter coat; the smell of spring when it was just starting. Even the things that made me mournful, like short days and the end of a year, still helped mark the time. There was the looking forward and the looking back and the attempts to be present before inevitable changes came again.
I didn’t mind it being summer for a year, but I’m glad to have seasons I recognize back. I’m even more glad that finally—finally!—my loved ones and I have moved into our house on our land. The leaves changed colours spectacularly here in Tennessee, and we just had some extremely cold weather and learned what the hills look like covered in snow. No more limbo and no more endless summer, with 2023 right around the corner. It scares me a little because the past few years have felt so dire, but if I bat the anxiety away with a big stick there are a lot of things I’m looking forward to.
If you’re reading this, I wish you a 2023 filled with good and gradual changes. Problems you can work through and ideas that excite and inspire you. I’m wishing myself the same. Good luck to all of us, and happy 2023 when it comes. 💕