Written by 00:16 World

It’s June Again

June! Again! I know! Where has the time gone? It’s boring to even raise the issue — your subjective experience of the months and years passing so quickly, how it seems just yesterday you were doing something (making plans to see Barbenheimer, maybe? That was last summer!) and now here we are, doing this again.

If summer is a play, June is its opening act. If summer is a feeling, based on my recent conversations, it’s either hope or dread. For me, it’s all hope, all anticipation. Let the longer days spread out before us. Let us spread ourselves out in them, lie down in the grass or on the beach or in the air-conditioned splendor of the living room, early afternoon, for a climate-controlled snooze.

Last weekend, in the country, I had a run-in with a bunch of winged creatures — wasps, I decided, based on the scientific description I found on an exterminator’s website: “Generally speaking, wasps are much scarier looking than bees.” No nest in sight, but a bunch of them, thronging the porch. Perhaps because I spend most of my time in the city, with its predictable insect population, I had almost forgotten about wasps, about yellowjackets and hornets and the menace I’ve always associated with their presence.

Fear of wasps is rooted in childhood, deep and reflexive. Don’t move, don’t look them in the eye, don’t even acknowledge their presence, or else. As a child, one wasp in the house was reason enough to flee until an adult could dispense with it. Now, ostensibly an adult myself, I observed myself observing the swarm, feeling that fear surge and then subside. Here were emissaries of the season, summer’s welcoming committee. I could sip a lemonade beside them and, if not exactly relax, then at least contemplate remediation. Where had the time gone? When did the fear of being stung become manageable? I looked at the wasps and thought, “Yes, you too.” If I am going to throw open my arms to welcome the sunlight and barbecues and lake swims and the air that’s the exact same temperature as my skin, then the wasps are invited as well.

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Last modified: 4 June 2024
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