The years, for me, do not begin in January.
They start over in the summer. In the heat; when things are reborn and new and living again. Summer is when we make our plans and take our trips. It is the blissful few months of watermelon rinds in the yard and the shimmer of sunscreen on the surface of water that I spent every year of primary school dreaming of. It is grass stains and bare feet and piles of finished books.
I don’t mind everyone else’s New Years. The confetti, parties, and anticipation are fun, but it’s the abruptness that throws me off. The next day is supposed to feel new, like a shift in the whole universe. We are meant to make resolutions and begin again with a new number in the corner of our pages. Yet, it feels the same. In the morning, we pick up the balloons and empty champagne bottles and we resume life just as it was the day before. I slip on the same jacket and curse the same snow and feel the same chill in my bones. It doesn’t seem as though any kind of transition truly comes after the 1st of January. I quickly forget the night of sparkles– it blends in with any other sparkly evening that ended with my lips on someone else’s by midnight.
Summer is different. April and May used to appear hand-in-hand, and full of hope, skipping towards the last day of school. After months of bitter winter, the world blooms again. It erupts in confetti, like a celebration, and then summer finally arrives. I forget the days the sun ever set before dinner and the aching for freedom that June seems to provide. Even though I grew up, starting working through the summer months, counting the calories in lemonade, and feeling like an imposter for ever being sad beneath the sunlight, the season still held a delicate association with magic and warmth and possibility. It never really lost that for me. Some summers have broken my heart. Things break, even in dreams. But some have also been so dream-like that their memory feels unreal. I’m not sure where this summer will fall on the spectrum, but I want to hope for the best. Last month, I struggled to imagine myself existing to happily see the beginning to my year. Yet, here I am– bruises healing, roller skates on the pavement, the bridge of my nose freckling.
I want a celebration. Not really because I am giddy or my heart is light or I am convinced that the sun will warm me, but because I could be. There is a chance I could find the magic that lovely, optimistic, naive versions of myself have hidden in the folds of June, July, and August. I like to imagine that girl was a traveler, pressing flowers in the pages of time. The idea of stumbling across petals, of my fingers brushing over these pockets of the universe where beautiful things are preserved just for me, is enough to keep me searching. So, yes, I would like a celebration; not of things happened, not of goals for the future, but for the simple and untainted possibility in the existence of moments of joy.