Summer musings / by Ailsa Fineron


This morning waking up in a room with no curtains. Lying in bed, floating in a tank full of sunlight. Feeling summer tugging at your guts from through your back with silver fishhooks. Can see the sunlight gilding blue water as you close your eyes to winter and open them to glinting evenings looking out on the ocean. Water constantly shifting underneath the day reluctantly leaving. Remembering summer nights where sleeping is a sin because why would you sleep when there’s light to live in? Lying on roofs watching birds fly through cooling air wondering where the sky begins. Lying on hot tarmac, enjoying the light pain of hard roads beneath your uncushioned head because romance was never sold as easy. Bare feet on brown grass and freckles splashed up across your face from running through the shallows chasing hopes with pretty boys and pretty girls. A map of white lines across your back: roads of bikini tops, spaghetti straps and halternecks which you travelled through June, July and August. Sandal strap timelines across your harder, stronger feet which never grow weary in these months of chasing the sun that never sets.

And each year the promising smell of spring kisses you on the nose and tickles your lips with flowers. A yellower sun caresses your shoulders and you close your eyes and turn your face like a sunflower towards it. Each year, you can see days by the beach swimming, reading, exploring. Evenings on a grass carpet in a community living room park drinking beer and laughing with friends and crushes and kissing as the sky cools through from blue to ice cream shades of peach and raspberry. And these times have happened. You have rolled down hills, bruising brown skin and staining pale jeans and holding hands with shining loves. But remind yourself now, before it gets too late, that you have been sad too. You have been walking in a cold fog that will not burn off no matter how strongly the sun shines, at a time when everyone else looks golden. You have squirmed in front of a bright reflection in a bikini and a body you wish you could sculpt the way you build sandcastles so effortlessly. You have sat by campfires, wrapped in blankets and that person’s bigger, warmer jumper which smells so much nicer as you talk and laugh and hope and nothing happens. You have walked around in shorts and t-shirt and sunglasses absorbing and reflecting light but feeling lost so you wonder what you’re doing being so bright. You have fed yourself on promises you read in paperback novels, become bloated on empty holiday ads and tied your happiness to a bunch of helium balloon teen movies.

And you will be happy when the sun shines, as you are now, floating in this swimming pool bedroom of clean air and smiling sunshine. But do not depend on warmer months to give you everything you thought you needed. Take a break now and bask in warmer spots of time. Do not rely on photosynthesis to grow. Life is beautiful all year round. Life is devastating all year round. You can create romance wherever you go. Whenever you go.

If you would like more writings and photos like this delivered to your inbox weekly, you can subscribe to my not-really-news-more-prose-and-photography-letter here.