i found myself constantly battling my own thoughts, thoughts i couldn't understand. it didn't make much sense to me. i could objectively appreciate a town's culture and aesthetics, perhaps even connect with its residents on a grand scale, and yet still fail to feel any genuine warmth for that place. i attributed it to some spiritual pull-something innate and unswaying. i kept battling these feelings, however. i kept hoping to stumble upon a formula to conjure up longing, so that i could live in the places that made the most sense-the places where my friends were. ultimately, however, i know that one never consciously decides to long for something. the same held true for people. i could know a person was wise and kind and that their friendship was worth valuing. i could appreciate their outreach efforts with pleasant detachment, but ultimately i took them for granted. i always ended up pining for the friendships that weren't formed and the letters that never came. every summer i end up feeling the same. i end up feeling as though the season has slipped through my fingers and left me with nothing to show for it. i end up doubled over myself for those last two weeks of august, trying to cram all the unrealized glory days into a mere fortnight. i fail, of course. i try to console myself by telling myself that the people and places will remain until next summer. it's true in part. they will...but the waves will break and form new patterns in the sand, and friendships will change form, and the world will be different.