I take more photos in the summer. I tell myself it’s because in summer, my surroundings are more scenic.
Because the days are longer. Because in summer, time is slower.
There’s no carpool, no mad scramble to leave the house before 7, to hit the highway exactly by 7:15 to avoid the gridlock that inevitably forms, worsening every minute that I’m late.
But that’s not exactly it. In summer, time is a bubble. We pack every June for the same place I’ve gone every year since I was 19. I buy a handful of new outfits, but wind up wearing the same three every day — cutoff jeans I’ve had since I was 30, a few sundresses, aged to the perfect softness, and workout clothes I’ve owned since before I had children. I bring makeup, but after the first week settle for sunscreen and a good lip balm.
What we get in exchange for eschewing contemporary comfort is time. In summer, we lose track of the days. We have no cable, no air conditioning, no phone line, no wi-fi. We judge the days by the farmer’s markets, by trash collection, by the passing of the tides.
I hold my breath and pretend that my children are babies again. The house is so small we wake at the same time, dreaming the same dreams of ocean and the sky. They wolf their breakfasts and disappear for the day, collecting hermit crabs, walking the beach, tubing and running from house to house for card games, for movies, piling into a car for an ice cream run, jumping off the pier into the dark and swimming as fast as they can for the raft as seaweed brushes against their legs. Last minute sleepovers and early morning rendezvous to watch the dawn, and knowing all the while that these smallest things, these insignificant details, are what we will remember and hold tight in the cold, aging light of fall.