with the coolness in the air today one can't help but wonder if we're entering into 'last summer days.' i mean i've got on a light fleece jacket and little wooly socks... what gives? summer? upon thinking about summer ending and the rituals that might go along with it, as we usher in autumntime, something very interesting came to me. i spent 5 summers in spain and one of the things that i loved, as i love summertime, is that summer ends in october. at around april folks start talking about their summer holidays, what we're thinking and what we're planning. how cool is that? for the most part they get the month of august off for summer holiday. i, as a teacher had 2 months off. and then even so, when folks started finding their way back into town, late august early september, i remember that feeling and joyful search for who was back yet, and who was lucky enough to still be away. we came back full of the fun we'd had as well as the rest and relaxation. and it took a few weeks really to get back into the rhythm of things. we did so slowly, almost dusting off summer while meeting in cafes after lunch talking and sharing stories of our summer holidays.
here in nyc, we roll a little bit different. unfortunately? we kinda start talking about summer days ending around the beginning of august, already at that time folks are preparing themselves or their children for the school year. and already are making plans for the coming year. september is almost like a 'new new year.' somehow for all of us around the globe we still have that feeling of september being a new beginning. perhaps all those years of getting ready and starting school in september has left an imprint within.
to my surprise people are engaged in all kinds of end of summer rituals. it surprises me because for the most part i never did so. it had never crossed my mind. sure we did our things to prepare for the new school year, got our new school supplies, new clothes and such, but the idea of doing something special to end the summer and bring in the newness of fresh projects and exciting new doings was not my experience. while browsing through an old magazine i came upon an article about end of summer rituals. i like this idea. and all kinds of interesting ideas followed. for examples, a special breakfast, the same french toast and bacon for the first morning of school. mini vacation, a few days just before september away, kind of like the last hurrah. and then upon return, getting back to more productive and steady schedules, some girls all get together for a kind of home spa evening, where they bathe and do facials, their hair and nails, and gather around with wine glass in hand to talk about their goals, expectations and wishes for the coming year. one woman goes off on her own for a day spa and gets all scrubbed up and beautified before venturing into her new work year. and one of my favorites, going out for ice cream dinner. that's it... ice cream for dinner. how sweet is that?
it seems end of summer rituals are not only fun, they seem like a wonderful way to begin to bend our minds toward autumn with all the freshness, possibility and opportunities it holds. now i'll have to think of an end of summer ritual for myself. do you have one?
text by audrey paradis
photo by mturnage