The last bit of summer is always a little extra special. In most parts of the world, it’s bittersweet, with fall and its colder, crueler counterpart winter, at the door. But down here, we get to hold onto the sweetness for a few months longer.
There’s something inherently nostalgic about the last half of summer. The energy of spring is further from our memory. The light is more golden, like a faded photograph. The heat has seeped to the marrow of our bones and we’ve settled comfortably into the sun kissed version of ourselves. Time has a different weight, a different relevance. You are more conscience of savoring it and everyday moments already feel like memories.
I have so many memories of past ends of summer, of standing in different gardens and listening to different birds. Of light conversations mixed with final bites of summer’s best offerings. Of hugs that linger a little longer because you know that the holidays will soon swallow up the sleepiness of the present. That the timelessness of right now will be carried back into its inevitable march forward. You linger on the simplest moments - the ones that say everything.
Because one day, you’ll forget most of this summer. You’ll forget almost every single day. Except for those brief moments that get stamped into your memory, moments you often don’t actively choose to hold onto. Little flashbacks of the way the light danced on the pavement, or the way your mother’s laughter wrapped around the tomato leaves. Plates of potato salad, the sound of water when you’re fully submerged under it, the smell of the dried urine on brown grass at that sketchy rest stop. Cold soda, sandy feet, the way his eyes squint in the sun, the sound of old records from down the road, seeping like fog into your patio.
Try to remember your best moments from summer. Not events, not activities as a whole, but moments. Little vignettes of time when the light, the sounds, and the smells come together as one, idling forever in the spaces between.
That will be all that’s left of this summer. One of many seasons that come and go and make up our sense of the world, our attachments, our sense of belonging. Who we are is comprised of these little moments. Both the ones we hold onto like an old yearbook, and the ones that we forget.
Photos by Stephanie Nguyen