The Summer of ‘20

Dear Reader,

This morning when I pulled open the front door and stepped outside, I was greeted by a bright blue sky and crisp autumn air. While I was still dressed in shorts, I did have enough sense to put on a light cardigan after seeing that the morning temperature was a mere 57 degrees. I do not need a calendar to support my declaration that summer as I know it has come to an end.

Arlington, MA, summer 2020

Endings bring about their own special sort of sadness, but for better or for worse, they are also markers of new beginnings. While summer 2020 will technically linger on until September 22, for all intents and purposes, my year is already in the beginning of the autumnal season. I have started graduate school and my schedule is filling up with classes, meetings, and blocks of time dedicated to grading assignments and writing papers. How funny it is to be in school again. And this time (at least for the fall semester) 100% online! Without a new commute to attest to my transition from summer to fall, my passage into the school year has been gradual and somewhat lackluster. So, at this time, I would like to say a formal goodbye to summer with an aim to march into autumn with full force.

Belmont, MA, summer 2020

Unless you lead a quiet life of seclusion, this past summer for you was likely different from any others. I’m not bitter, but I will briefly say that the pandemic has stolen a handful of opportunities from me this past year including chances to travel, live on foreign soil, meet new people, and even just enjoy Boston a little more. Yet, when one door closes another one opens and instead my summer has been filled with work, hobbies, familiar surroundings, and routines. While this past summer was not everything I was hoping for, it certainly will hold a special place in my memories.

Gloucester, MA, summer 2020

This past season, I (surprise, surprise) spent a lot of time at home. So much so that I’m afraid that I am turning into a homebody. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your time in the house, however, I find that I am now reluctant to commit to outside engagements. When a professor asked whether I would be willing to meet with students in the physical classroom once a week, my immediate thought was why can’t I just meet with them through Zoom!? Yes, the virus is still a concern for me, but deep down, I also felt resistant about being forced out of my nest. In the past, I dreaded staying at home all-day. The only times that I would stay home even past 8am were on the occasions when I was too sick to leave (which was rare). Now, at times, I feel as if I have a bad case of “reverse cabin fever” — you can’t make me leave! (half kidding).

North Hampton, NH, summer 2020

Even though I spent 93.5% of my summer (and I [roughly] calculated this) within a two-mile radius of my home, I did manage to do a little local/ regional travel (hence all the pictures in this post). A goodbye to summer means a farewell to New England at its most magnificent. The New England coastline can be picturesque in all seasons (whenever it’s not cloudy or foggy that is), however, the shore is most pleasant when the breeze is refreshing rather than biting. Visitors flock to the New England coast and with good reason — it is stunning. There are so many shades of blue and so many different textures to the sand. Despite our northern latitude the water is warm and inviting. There’s lobster, clam chowder, swordfish, cod, haddock, salmon, bass; and the ice cream is actually the very best. I wish I could capture the sights, sounds, and smells of a New England summer and shove it into a snow globe (a sand globe?) to save for the darkest, coldest, and wettest days, because they will be quickly upon us.

To conclude, I will simply say: Farewell summer 2020! You were challenging, frustrating, and somehow very, very special. I will always remember you!

Love,

Raven

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