Shedding summer skin

Kristina Deckert

Squeaky swings and tall grass/The longest shadows ever cast/The water’s warm and children swim/We frolicked about in our summer skin

Summer. The word itself just sounds warm. It implies three months of freedom: three months of warm water for swimming, light blue skies and the scent of bonfires and cookouts.

There’s something about summer that demands a connection to childhood – the days of playing sports outside every day, running through the sprinklers with our little kid friends and cuddling up with our parents at the end of a long, sunburned day outside, drinking lemonade and falling asleep. When we were younger, the summer days seemed to last forever, but as we grow, they pass at such a furious speed, it’s depressing.

I don’t recall a single care/Just greenery and humid air/Then Labor Day came and went/And we shed what was left of our summer skin

Everyone has that one summer before adulthood that changes everything. There was that summer romance, that great vacation to the ocean or that infinite feeling of a never-ending summer.

Unfortunately, that summer ended and now this one is, too. Soon, we will be back to the old, cold grind of trekking to class in 53 feet of snow in the morning and being cooped up in our dorms and apartments at night.

On the night you left I came over/And we peeled the freckles from our shoulders/Our brand new coats so flushed and pink/And I knew your heart I couldn’t win

Now, the days are getting shorter, and the sun is just a little lower in the sky. Yeah, it’s still hot as hell out, but subconsciously, we all know what’s to come. It’s another summer passing, another year passing, and I don’t want to deal with it.

I don’t want this summer to be over. It sounds childish, but I want to be 20 years old forever. I can’t help but know I’m going to nostalgically look back on this summer and wish I could do it all over again because this summer might be “that summer” for me – that summer with the vacation to the ocean, that summer romance and that amazing feeling of a never-ending season.

But I feel it now. I feel it ending. It’s scary because summer sometimes seems so magical, so surreal, and somehow by late August or early September, that magic is gone. Where does it go?

It somehow reminds me that life is truly linear, and we are forever moving in the opposite direction of our youth.

Cause the season’s change was a conduit/And we left our love in our summer skin

I hope to never shed my summer skin.

Song lyrics are from “Summer Skin” by Death Cab for Cutie.

Kristina Deckert is a junior information design major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].