The Nature of Summer

I crave a nice cold Gin&Tonic served to me on a terrace by the sea, one lazy summer evening… I crave it so badly, that I can almost feel the cold sweaty glass in my hands and I can definitely smell the salty breeze. Well, the salty breeze part is easy really, since I do live in a town by the sea. The G&T part could be equally easy, it would take next to nothing to make it come true since terraces are open and swarming with people.

Therein lies the problem, as far as I’m concerned, the “swarming with people” part. We’re so desperate to pretend everything is back to normal and this is just another summer, that we’re making a bad situation far worse than it should be. I would lie if I said some irrational part of my being wasn’t hoping for a normal summer, the old kind of “normal”; but I saw no rational way that could happen. Yet here we are, acting like nothing’s happened, disregarding all restrictions and safety measures in quiet agreement, tourists, business owners and locals alike, “for the common economical good”, while authorities turn a semi-blind eye. Not only is COVID-19 still spreading, but it’s doing it at a far more alarming rate than during lockdown this spring. But for some reason, caution, concern and worries have left the building.

So no, I won’t be treating myself to that G&T I crave, letting the sound of the waves drown my worries, the way I used to do every summer. I am allowed to do it; I would try to be careful if I attempted such an exercise, but I look around and see how reckless so many people are when serving or being served in these places. Therefore I do the tiny little bit that’s in my power to protect myself and others. I’m not adding one more person to the crowd.

No, I won’t be going to any terraces this summer, much as I’d like to. No, I’m not going to spend any lazy days on trendy beaches with people and chaise-longue’s too close for safety. No, I’m not going to go clubbing either – yes, much to the horror and disgust of teenagers and 20-year olds, those of us in our mid-30s (and older) do still enjoy the occasional fun night out. I’m not traveling this summer either (that’s becoming less of an option, considering our situation anyway), not even locally. And I’m not doing any of these not because I’m paranoid, but because I believe it’s my responsibility as a human being, the responsibility I have to myself and the society in which I live, whether I like it or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not locking myself in the house – after this spring, I feel no inclination to do that. I even went to the beach, and plan on going again, but in those less populated spots. The lack of selfies on fashionably crowded beaches while sipping my exotic drink and socializing with hundreds of my “closest friends” won’t kill me. Other things might…

I was joking the other day when telling someone that I haven’t taken so many walks in the park since I was a teenager. But it’s true. I am doing that a lot and I even figured out that late evening hour when the park is not deserted, but not crowded either. I’m resorting to nature to provide me with spare time activities. I continue my exploration during one-day trips. I go back to places I already know and love. I’m putting “trendy” and “commercial” on hold this summer.

So I’m starting a new photo series and by the end of August I’m going to share some of the photos capturing what I believe to be moments of summer nature beauty. I hope you enjoy them and that you’re having a good, safe summer!

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