It’s June Again – The New York Times

June! Again! I know! Where has the time gone? It’s boring to even raise the topic: your subjective experience of the months and years that go by so quickly, how it seems like just yesterday that you were doing something (making plans to see Barbenheimer, perhaps? 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 is either hope or fear. For me, it’s all hope, all anticipation. Let the longest days stretch before us. Let’s spread out in them, lie on the grass or on the beach or in the air-conditioned splendor of the living room, in the early afternoon, for a climate-controlled nap.

Last weekend, in the countryside, I had an encounter with a group of winged creatures: wasps, I decided, based on the scientific description I found on an exterminator’s website: “Generally speaking, wasps look very scarier than bees.” There’s no nest in sight, but there are plenty of them, crowding the porch. Perhaps because I spend most of my time in the city, with its predictable insect population, I had almost forgotten about wasps, yellow jackets and hornets and the threat I have always associated with their presence.

The fear of wasps has its roots in childhood, it is deep and reflective. Don’t move, don’t look them in the eye, don’t even acknowledge their presence, or else. When I was a child, a wasp in the house was reason enough to run away until an adult could do without it. Now, apparently an adult, I found myself watching the swarm, feeling fear rise and then subside. There were the emissaries of the season, the welcoming committee of the summer. I could have a lemonade with them and, if not exactly relax, at least contemplate the possibility of remedying it. 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’m going to open my arms to sunshine, barbecues, lake baths, and air that’s the exact same temperature as my skin, then wasps are invited too.

Leave a Comment