Summer’s Short Lease

By Sean McVeigh

In my junior year of high school, I had an English teacher named Mr. Dillon. I remember a lot from that class. We read Byron and Blake, and from time to time, I will tell my wife she walks in beauty like the night or, depending on how she is feeling, I will ask who dare frame her fearful symmetry. That class instilled a love of the classics and sticks with me in all sorts of ways to this day. But the most lasting effect that Mr. Dillon had on me was from a discussion we had just before summer break.

He began by congratulating us for our hard work throughout the year and for making it to summer. He told us to think about how it was already the end of June, and before we knew it, it would be the Fourth of July. Once that came and went, it would pretty much be August. Just the word made us all shiver. And then shortly after that, we would be seeing back-to-school commercials and Labor Day would be upon us. As he vividly painted for us, the next thing we knew we would be back to seeing him in the hallways around school. Summer hadn’t even begun yet and Mr. Dillon had us feeling like it was the last day of vacation. He had a sick sense of humor.

Summer, especially around these parts, takes on an almost mythical significance. It is that magical time of year when the days are long, the nights are warm, and every day brings fun in the sun.

Memorial Day always rolls around with such promise. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you have a whole season ahead of you. You blink, and it’s June. You make a plan — the plan to have no plans all summer! You are going to take each day one at a time. Riding your bike from the beach to the BBQs to the bars with the only itinerary being your heart’s desire.

But then, in the cruelest twist of fate, you blink again. Suddenly, it’s August. You can’t help but wonder: where did the time go? The speed at which summer passes is a universal mystery, right up there with the Bermuda Triangle.

So this summer let’s make a pact. Let’s make the most out of every day and take advantage of every night. There will be plenty of time to sit at home — that’s called the winter. This summer we are going to live it up because before we know it, just as Mr. Dillon would be happy to remind us, Labor Day will be upon us.


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