The Summer of 2012

It is impossible to know what awaits us at the beginning of another summer of our lives.

With Memorial Day past us, the mystery of the coming summer is upon us in full force.

Every generation comes to know great songs that last the test of time and remind us of where we were in our lives when that certain song was popular.

From summer to summer this has always been true and is certain to be true during the summer of 2012.

But again, as we all begin one of the seasons we like the most and which is the shortest in New England, we do so with a sense of understanding about how little control we have over our lives when all is said and done.

We have about as much control over our lives as we have over the weather – and we know how the weather changes from moment to moment in this part of the nation.

It is impossible to know how our lives are going to change during the summer or if they will change at all.

For those who are suffering and sick, you cannot know if you will make it through the summer of 2012.

If you are very young and just starting out and life is a party for you, you feel assured the summer of 2012 will be about the biggest, ongoing, longstanding, continuous party of your life. Feelings of omnipotence abound during the summer.

Whoever we are, whatever we do, however we construe our lives, the oncoming summer is filled with the dream of endless nice weather, good times, solid health, successful business to be accomplished and then a dip in the pool or a swim at the beach and subsequently, a dinner off the grill.

A great number of us all wrapped up tightly in the psychodrama of our lives will hardly feel the summer. Some will not take notice of it. It might as well be winter for some of us.

If you are facing financial hurdles, health issues, legal difficulties, separation, or divorce, the summer of 2012 can’t end fast enough and it has just begun.

When many of us were much younger, the summer was the time to fall in love, to fall out of love, to dream of love, to think that love conquered everything.

Believing that falling in love could fix a life forever during a summer one never forgets is the stuff of Hollywood. A number of you who have had such experiences would agree.

Those who were in their teens or twenties in 1971 will recall the movie, “Summer of ’42.”

It told the story of how a young man in his early teens on his 1942 summer vacation with his parents on Nantucket Island, had a one sided romance with a woman whose husband had gone off to fight in World War II.

The movie was all about feelings, the ocean, young love, the tragedy of loss and it was about unrequieted love.

They share a brief affair brought on more by the married woman’s loneliness than her want of anything else. Going to her house was like walking into a dream for the teenager. Then nearing the end of the summer he goes to the house hoping for more of her only to see she has left. He pushes the door open. He finds an empty bottle of whiskey, crushed cigarette butts in the ashtray and a note from the War Department notifying her of her husband’s death. He reads the note. He surveys the scene. He takes it all in.

The ocean breeze pushes the shades upward through the open windows. The dunes stretch for miles. The young man looks out upon this scene and he is emptier than he’s ever been.

“The Summer of ’42” resonated then. Its intense message about the summer resonates today. We hope the summer of 2012 is all that you are hoping it will be.

Full Print Edition