Summer

The dragonflies are out buzzing all over the place and gaily flitting every where. It is the last week of August and the summer is already done. Pretty soon, the fall coats and jackets will be out. The leaves are already starting to turn color. Before you know it, I’ll be looking for Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks and the pumpkin beer at the grocery shelves.

I never thought I’d say this, but I wish the summer would be longer.

Shock.

I hate summer with a passion. But this year, with Covid-19 keeping everyone pretty much cooped up indoors, the sunshine and the warm days called me outdoors. I spent a lot of time walking in the early hours of the morning and trying to find some green scenery on my drives with hubby. After staring at the screen and the four walls of the house, outdoors was heaven.

But now, I just want to go outside as the oppressive heat of the Obon holiday has broken. Yes, it’s still hot and humid on some days, but the cool evenings are what makes summer special in Hokkaido. The evenings are usually cool enough so that you can put a light cardigan on when you’re walking around town.

Beer with frozen foam at the Beer Garden

But the summer is just not summer in Hokkaido when you don’t have the Beer Festival at Odori. Summer is also the time for local festivals and fairs. People would wear yukatas and walk around eating chocolate-covered bananas. Then everyone would do the Bon Dance and wait for the fireworks to start.

Colorful Dancers of the local yosakoi event during the festival.

It’s also the time that my husband and I drive down to Hakodate to pay a visit to my in-laws and spend time with family for the holidays. We then go to the family grave and pray to our ancestors.

A view of Mount Koma-ga-take from the car on our way to Hakodate.

Again, nothing like that happened this summer. It feels so surreal and just so sad.

I guess this year is just going to be the summer that wasn’t.

Leaving you guys with this (explicit) beat:

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