I never thought I’d ever find August a beautiful month. August used to be the month my dad would take off to go for our vacations to Poland and spend some time with the family there. For two thirds of my life, August has followed the exact same pattern every year. August was the month I was always missing out from my normal life; every year, for a month, I would embody a different identity, in a different city, speaking a different language. A parallel me, the August version of me. I would leave Italy in the heat of July and come back one month later, when the evenings would already be cool and breezy and soon it would be time to go back to school. For the first twenty years of my life I have never really seen summer dying out, peacefully transitioning into early autumn. Up in the mountains where I grew up August is not a summer month. Every year summer for me dramatically ended on a hot day at the end of July, and another season would welcome me on my return. It’s not that I did not like my Polish vacations, I just always felt that that was a different life of mine, a life made up only of Augusts and occasional Christmases. That had nothing to do with my life back home.
Neither summer nor autumn, I never liked the indecisiveness of August. Still too warm and green to be autumn, yet too cool and wet to be summer. August lacked personality. Until last year, because in August we moved to Sweden. Before the move there had been the anticipation for this new life waiting for us, and the time to say goodbye to all the people we were about to leave behind. Then, the excitement of a new beginning. And August in Sweden proved glorious: warm, sunny, green. For the first time in my life I perceived it as a true summer month.
It’s August again, and our stay in Sweden is about to turn one. Many things have happened, many lessons were learned, the study of the Swedish language, instead, is still pretty slow. I have finally given in to regular blogging, first on my student blog, and now on this one. I have finally spent a whole consecutive year in a Scandinavian country, and seen all four seasons pass. It’s August again and summer, that this year has been a late bloomer, is shining.
We spent the weekend at some friends’ summer house in southern Dalarna and couldn’t get a more Swedish experience to celebrate our first year here. A summer cottage, partying on a floating dock, swimming in the lake, hot dogs, pancakes for breakfast, friends, mosquitoes and blueberry picking.
I came back home with a bucket full of blueberries. My teeth and my fingertips are all stained and I feel happy.