The end of school in the spring used to mean the immediate begin to summer. Summer meant freedom from everything one had grown tired of. This summer I couldn’t wait for classes to be over so I could work as much as I could, trying to put away some money instead of spending every penny on groceries and utilities and the like. When I found that I could work nearly forty hours a week, more than doubling my salary, I felt myself let go a rush of breath I had been holding for months. How strange a feeling that is, this sort of growing up feeling of freedom.
A summer full of uncomplicated poolside chats with school mates and smoothies on shady back patios was the sweetest rest I could have dreamed of just a few years ago. But now I feel the freedom of a mind more at ease and a usefulness that is more satisfying even than the crazy-good ice cream they sell across from campus.
And with that increase in work hours has come an increase in free time. Strangely enough, the feeling that there is less free time available has led me to use it more wisely, sleeping a bit less, reading more, venturing out to museums and libraries that I might have had plenty of time for before, but always put off out of a kind of indolence that extra time breeds. But when that time is cut to the quick and every minute needs to be thought of, pleasures seem sweeter and an afternoon reading Daniel Deronda on a bench in the Impressionist exhibit can really be the sweetest summer pleasure of all. And a free one, I might add.
So as fruit gets cheaper and more plentiful and the days stretch out their light and warm breezes, I hope you find as much pleasure from this summer as I am. I work in the basement of a library without a ray of sun, sitting for seven hours straight turning scanned images into tifs. And I couldn’t be more happy. Happy summer break friends.