“Press close, bare-bosomed Night!
Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!”
― Walt Whitman
Summer’s recreation makes it easy to forget the various troubles going on around the world. Greece may default on their debt? Meh, I wasn’t planning on vacationing there this year anyway. Chinese hackers made their way into federal computers with over 800,000 employee records? Yeah, pass me the mustard will you? My hot dog’s naked. Someone’s upset about removing a symbol that is essentially the American equivalent of the Nazi swastika? Fireworks; everything is solved with more fireworks. Yes, every last one of those issues is extremely important and deserving of attention and discussion, but summer just makes it extremely hard to pay attention … or care.
This is yet another reason why summer is a good time to take an extended vacation. Conditions make it difficult to not be distracted. How can one focus on work with the sun tempting you to come out and play like that? How do you make yourself get up and go sit in a gloomy office all day when you know damn good and well there are rivers to kayak and waterfalls in which to play? How does one force themselves to repeatedly endure adulthood when their inner child is screaming to be let out so it can go play kickball? Summer makes it damn near impossible to focus on anything other than the fact that, hey, it’s summer! Shouldn’t we all be naked or something?
Friends, actually. Friends are what makes summer the great distraction that it is. Getting together and actually doing things with the people we enjoy most, camping, picnicking, baseball, swimming, and hooping are all things that really need other people, sometimes a lot of other people, in order to actually be fun. The other three seasons give us plenty of alone time, sometimes even forcing that upon us. Summer is the time we get to spend with friends, friends who are just as if not even more crazy than we are, friends who know how to do cool things like play with fire and not burn down the house, friends who can even hoop with fire and make the night glow.
Summer days don’t end. They extend well into the night, where we gaze longingly at stars, enjoy the feel of a summer breeze on our bare skin, and slowly fall asleep to dream of even more adventures in the morning. One day melts into the next to the point we lose track of June becoming July and July slipping into August and August melting slowly into September. We know the real world is going to eventually yank us back into its horrible reality with a huge set of problems that just absolutely, positively, must be resolved right now. But for today?
Fuck it. Grab a hoop. Go outside. This is summer.