We Don’t Even Notice It
The end of the summer days in the northern hemisphere is something I could never do without in my life.
I realized this when I spent six months in Brazil at nineteen, and the days, regardless of the season, would suddenly end at five in the afternoon.
I, a rookie in the tropics and unfamiliar with basic geographic phenomena, was disturbed by the light fading so quickly. Especially when the heat remained, and my brain, confused by it all, associated nightfall at that hour with the coming of an icy winter night.
But it is not only the prolongation of the light that enchants me on these summer days. But so much more the coming to them and slowly witnessing the days getting longer, in a movement of nature that we cannot see with the naked eye but that we feel with the passing of another week.
All this force of nature was even more palpable when as a teenager, the classes ended, and together with my classmates, we left school around five in the afternoon and found already a dense and dark night, cold and silent.
When we were also freer from parental control, we would take the school bus, get out, and walk down the road through the village, between forests or not, trying to get home to sit by the fire quickly.
If luck was on our side, sometimes we went in a group; other times, the road was a silent and lonely walk.
Clearly, there was no way we could find time to do homework. Those who lived close to the school gained an hour or two more than the rest of us who had to travel farther, and I couldn’t even complain.
Some crossed the mountain so that when they got home, they would almost jump out of the bus and go to bed -even today, I see that few people living in those remote places continued any kind of study.
For more than half of the school year, our backpacks would be kept hidden during the week, and only when it came to the weekend would we open them to review something. I confess that I was possibly one of the worst in terms of homework.