Last year, this time around I was finishing Camino de Santiago (Camino de Sanabres), after 11 days and 380 km of walking. Most of these days were in the scorching hot plains of deep Spain, in Castilla Y Leon, and the rest in the rainy and foggy mountains of Galicia. All of these days, though, were August days.
Here I am now, in Lisbon, spending this August in an urban area, filled with tourists, trams, terraces and a maze of relentlessly up and down streets covered in cobblestone.
And yet, there’s a surprising resemblance of both times.
You know, there’s something about August days. They are in a limbo. They are at the same time the peak of the summer and the first visible signs of the fall. In this limbo, there’s much needed rest after the hard work of spring and fall, but there’s also a sense of floating, coming with the implicit reward of the fall, with the expectation of all the benefits.
There might be some agricultural cycles deeply embedded in our DNA, that are still sending these vibes. Otherwise I can’t explain how these days are perceived more or less the same, regardless of the place I am in, or the activities I am doing. There must be some ancestral memory hidden deep down in our bodily functions that tells us is now time to slow down, settle somewhere and wait for the replenishment of the energy that will soon come.
There a certain sense of fatigue that’s creeping in too, but a good fatigue.
It’s also the best time to start new projects. At the border between summer and fall, the promise of new, interesting ventures holds the best chances to come true. Frontiers are the least conditioned spaces, they are by definition the imminence of another land, just on the other side of the road. For instance, last year, around this time, I started to learn to play the guitar. I restarted the routine a couple of weeks ago, after a 4 months hiatus, and it’s all coming together, faster than I’d expect.
The days of August are among the very few, in a year, when time seems larger than the space it creates. It feels like there’s still so much to play with around, so many opportunities, or just things to do without the pressure of an outcome.
Even this blog post, it just came out naturally, as a pastime. It still counts as an entry in my 365 days publishing challenged, but it didn’t feel forced in any way.