July 19th


Dear July,
My cousins came for dinner tonight. When we were teenagers we spent every summer together. Their family and mine would rent a house in the same seaside village. The five of us would spend a few sunny weeks having adventures – digging holes in the sand dunes, writing SOS in huge sea-weedy letters on the beach, running around at night with glow sticks, playing endless games of Monopoly. Some of my happiest memories are from those holidays.
I haven’t seen them in years. Even though lots of us are living in Melbourne now, having dinner together took far too long to organise. But finally we did. I was nervous that it would be weird because it’s been so long. But they arrived and almost immediately we were laughing freely.
During those heady summers, I felt so comfortable. I saw in myself a person that I liked which, for teenage me, was radical. Even though we’ve all become adults in the time since we saw each other – with jobs and degrees and partners – it didn’t feel like we had that much to catch up on. We were always ourselves together.
Family is a strange and complex thing. Many of my relations are people who I like but have very little in common with. Then there’s the few people who, through the accident of genetics, fit with you at some fundamental level. Like you were made from the same bits.
Alex x
Letters to July is inspired by Emily Diana Ruth. For more information, click here.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year