There is something about the summer months that fills me with nostalgia. I reminisce and recall memories of the many summers gone by. For much of my life, first as a student and then for 11 years as a teacher, summer was a change of routine. There was a definite anticipation for the end of the school year, no matter what the summer plans might have been. The months of summer vacation were filled with different activities, some fun and some not so much. One thing was guaranteed. Over the summer I would not see many of the people who I saw constantly while school was in session. When school ended we would never again see some of the people whom we had spent more than nine months with. Some of them we would see in September but others would be moving on to another chapter in their lives.
One of the pop song from the 60’s that always stuck in my mind was “Will I See You in September?” It was recorded by several groups, the most popular version by the Happenings in 1966. That happened to be the year I started high school. The song deals with a romantic relationship but it could easily apply to the many people who spent time in our lives. I absolutely loved that song back in the day. It seemed rather poignant.
I’ll be alone each and every night
While you’re away don’t forget to write
Bye-bye, so long, farewell
We never thought we would lose touch with many of those people. We thought we would be fast friends (or lovers) forever. But life happens. As I think of the people from my youth, I can’t help but wondering about what happened to them and where they are now. Modern technology has allowed me to get back in contact with some that I thought were gone forever. Others, however, are indeed gone.
See you in September
See you when the summer’s through
Through each year of high school, it seems that people who were good friends one school year sometimes changed so much over the summer that by the start of the next year there was no longer the same connection. Or maybe they still would have been friends, but because their class schedules the next year were so different there was just no time to spend time with one another. And they grew apart. Other people moved in and took their place.
We all changed. Some times the growing apart was mutual as we met new people who fulfilled the same needs as the former friends. Those were easy parting of the ways.
Have a good time but remember
There is danger in the summer moon above
Will I see you in September
Or lose you to a summer love?
Sometimes one person was still deeply committed to the friendship or the relationship while another person had already moved on in their mind if not in reality. Those separations were much more difficult. But most of the time we just happened to grow apart. As we went on to further education or new jobs we met new people and had less time to spend with the former friends. That’s just a fact of life.
I had 3 friends that I was very close to through much of high school but especially my senior year. I really and truly thought it was a friendship that would endure forever. But it did not work that way. I had a falling out with one of the friends shortly after graduation from which we never recovered. Another of us was hired as a secretary and she immediately started her full-time career. She worked days and I was working a restaurant and coffee shop before going away to school in the fall. We worked completely different hours so there was no time to hang out. The third friend took a job as a nanny in Chicago and was gone for the whole summer. When she came home we were both going away to college at different universities and although we saw each other a few times over holidays things were never the same. Soon we didn’t event try to contact one another.
See you (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
In September (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
I’m hopin’ I’ll
See you in September (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
Well, maybe I’ll
See you (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
In September (bye-bye, so long farewell)
The fact is that, although we thought we would be close forever, many of those friendships are friendships of convenience. We grew up together, or had classes together, or seemed to have common interests, but once those factors changed the relationships did not endure. I don’t feel sad about that now. As we grew, we changed. We evolved. Everyone we interacted with in some way influenced the people we became. Although in reviewing in my thoughts the people I knew there are some of them with whom I would really love to connect . I know though that if I were to see them, once we reviewed what happened in our respective lives we would likely not have anything in common.
The last stanza of the song is probably pretty true to what happens many times. We start out by being positive that the same people will still be there during the many Septembers of our lives. That changes to hopefulness that we’ll see these people again. Finally there is the reality that maybe some time our paths will cross again. But maybe it will never happen.
The song now strikes me as corny, but I was a teenager, and it seemed very meaningful at the time.