When the middle of March rolls around each year, do you ever think to yourself, “This winter came and went way too fast. I’m not ready for it to be spring.”
Of course you don’t. Nobody thinks that. Apart from grouchy ol’ man winter, who has to pack it in and go to Florida (or some other mask-forsaken place) for nine months, who doesn’t love spring? And fall. And, of course, summer!
The four distinct seasons are four good reasons Northeasterners love living here. The contrasts in color and temps and clothing keep us honest, keep us appreciative of the warm sun when we’re chilly, and of the crisp air when we’re shvitzing.
I was 18 when I fully absorbed the true meaning of the aphorism, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
As I headed off to my freshman year at the University of Miami, Big Shot Bruce told his parents he wouldn’t see them again before the December break. It’s Miami, after all!
What teenager who had vacationed in the tropical U.S. only once in his childhood wouldn’t take full advantage of a Florida higher education by soaking up the sun and sand as much as possible while classes were out of session.
BRING ME HOME
Quick cut to the week before Thanksgiving: Big Baby Bruce is on the pay phone in his dorm—the only one on campus sans air conditioning—weepily telling his parents he wants to come home for Thanksgiving.
A week later, as the Eastern Airlines jet circled LaGuardia for a landing, I was misty-eyed again, this time out of joy, at the familiar sight of an old friend—snow.
Miami doesn’t do seasons, and it wasn’t until I looked down at the tundra of a New York November that I realized that the need for seasonality was in my DNA.
It was for that reason—and a few others—that I steered my sophomore year to Syracuse, allowing me to quip for the rest of my life that I transferred from the Syracuse of the south to the Miami of the north.
With all due respect to my Miami classmates Chris Carson (son of The Tonight Show’s Johnny) and that actor Sylvester something, my swapping out zip 33124 for 13244 was the smartest thing I ever accomplished in academe. Those two slick hipsters epitomized Miami cool. They were in their natural element. This blubbery nerdster was more like a dolphin out of water.
That collegial back story somehow (but I don’t know how) brings us to this year’s summer-that’s-not-quite-past-but-getting-there-not-so-fast.
If that sounds confusing, that’s the point. Unlike happily telling winter not to let the door hit it on its way out, at this time of year we are given to moan, “Aww, is September here already? I can’t believe how fast the summer went by.”
I don’t know about you, but for me this summer’s been different that way. It has moved more slow than fast. At times, it has felt like it’s standing still.
This summer’s languished in our extended anguish. Normally, the idea of a slow summer would be cause for exuberant celebration. More quality time to savor all things summery: beach, golf, hiking, block parties, pool parties, and—one of the biggest, saddest casualties of the summer of ugh—weddings.
Yes, it weirdly has felt like we have all the time in the world this frozen summer. All the time to bemoan the things we didn’t do. The people we didn’t see. The trips we didn’t take.
Adding insult to injury, did the weather this elusive summer have to go and be so darn good? You’re killing us here!
So, what’s taking you so long, September? We’re ready for ya. You can’t get here fast enough. You too, October. And November…
Bruce Apar is a writer, actor, consultant, and community volunteer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 914-275-6887.