Volume 94, Issue 8
Summers: A time of love and learning
Reflecting upon the summers of your childhood can conjure up an infinite reel of memories and images.
The tantalizing and refreshing taste of ice-cream amid the sweltering heat, building a tree fort (which consisted of three nails and two pieces of ply wood) and feeling like a king in his palace Playing hide-and-go-seek until the shadows had fully devoured the last rays of sunlight or throwing tennis balls at city buses (okay, maybe that was just me).
Still, those were the days. Those were care-free times when anything seemed possible, when your imagination could take you more places and open up more doors than any key.
Then came your summers as a teenager, where things got a little bit more complicated. The wonder and magic of childhood were replaced by new concerns. You probably got your first part-time job. For me it was Burger King where I stayed for three agonizing years (yes I am still in therapy). You were concerned with what your friends thought of you, you were trying your best to fit in even if you were usually clueless as to what "in" really meant and you got in petty fights with friends over "life-threatening" gossip.
There were bush parties, there were pool parties. You were introduced to the wonders of alcohol, some of us were introduced to Mary Jane. You spent 15 hours a day at the mall all the security guards knew you and your friends on a first-name basis, there were family vacations and there was the inevitable summer crush.
Perhaps the only magic left from childhood drifted towards one common purpose: The summer crush; the summer romance; the summer fling. It seemed likes the stars always align in July and August, when Cupid would draw back his bow and you were left in the hands of fate.
Everyone has the one they will always remember, so here goes my story. One summer, I worked at a resort in Northern Ontario and I met that one person who still seems incomparable. The irony is that nothing happened between us besides the forming of a strong friendship, but it is her spirit and elements of her personality, that I look for in other people whether friends or lovers. She raised the standard of what I considered possible.
I was interested in other girls at the resort (I was young and it was a long summer) but she's the one I remember. I'm not sure if I was really interested in her, but she represented an ideal. Not that she was perfect. But it was her faults, mingled with her rich personality and, I will admit, beauty that has always stayed with me. We're still good friends in fact I visited her this summer and we'll never be anything more.
It's better this way. First reason: I never had and never will have, a chance with her. Secondly, it would have ruined the magic of that summer's memory. Finally, it would ruin a friendship I treasure.
My point is that we all need to find a little of that lost magic in our lives. As students, our four-month summer seems to go by in a whirlwind of stress and anxiety over a whole list of adult concerns like university registration, finances, careers and full-time jobs. Not to say that the romantic or magical appeal of the summer has disappeared far from it, but now it's mixed with too many doses of reality.
Part of me longs for hide and seek in the shadows, or looking up at the starlight, locked in a deep conversation with a girl who will always stay in my heart.
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