Zebra Tales
Angus '25

Putting Off the Summer Reading

The tranquility of summer—an unimaginable construct to all of us who were wrapped up in the chaos of early June at Groton. Finals, Prize Day, and packing engulfed us in a world of constant occupancy. And yet, after a month of being 2,300 miles west and over 6,000 vertical feet above the Circle, it all seems relatively insignificant.
Here, my time is spent busying myself with unforetold adventures and boredom. Here, I am able to see everything Groton taught me to miss. In Jackson, Wyoming, there is an abundance of distractions: the breathtaking nature, supplemented by boats and cars to allow you the means to explore (and the occasional tourist who wants a picture with you), creates a magnificent playground to satisfy the summer boredom.

Yet sometimes my guilty conscious convinces me I am not fully utilizing the space I am so fortunate to live in. Between a full-time job, an online course, and training for sports, getting away to the beauty of my community sometimes seems impossible. That is why I cherish the long summer weekends.

The hours out in the relentless sun and suffocating dirt finally gives way to the cool AC of my 2001 Ford Expedition. The relief of my weekly scheduled duties fulfilled, along with the excitement of being able to have a weekend of autonomy with friends and family, accumulates inside me on my drive home.

A foretold late departure from my house makes way for the long drive along the valley floor of the national park. The windy road to the Gros Ventre canyon is accompanied by a vibrant array of colors dancing atop the Teton mountain range. Every second, as the sun leisurely sinks into its resting place for the night, the colors vibrate all the way toward the brink of the eastern sky, filling every gap of blue with a deep pink and orange hue. 

Finally being able to relax to the soothing snaps of the fire, and talking to all your friends without the distractions of phones, allows for a sigh of relief. I no longer have to worry about a schedule or commitments.

As early morning hits us, we pack up everything and are immediately back on the road toward town. With a quick stop to do some swimming.

As much as going away from commodities and service satisfies a desire for distraction, nothing beats the spicy, loaded breakfast burrito from D.O.G.

The rest of the day consists of a hike up a canyon, where I continue to relay the endless stories I gained during my first year on the Circle to my mom and sister. It’s often easy to get caught up in the busy schedule of the boarding school world, and I definitely did. So now I spend as much time as I can making up for the missed phone calls, telling them every small detail I can bring myself to remember. The long hike finally gives way to the drowsiness of late summer afternoons, filled with whatever type of nothingness we desire. Finally, as we bring ourselves to be productive again, we take our showers and prepare for my sister's birthday dinner.

The next morning comes at our own choosing; my mom might wake up early and go mountain biking in the brisk morning air while my sister and I sleep until we can no longer stand our own breath. The tasks I set for myself are yet again pushed back when I decide I would much rather go to the lake. The refreshing water of glacial runoff permits a well-needed break from the heat. Ironically, a day filled with wake surfing, waterskiing, and tubing eases me into the same state of exhaustion as work (just in a much more satisfying way). The drive home consists of take-out pizza and a long nap.

Finally, the weekend starts to finally settle down within me. And as much as I long for a never-ending summer of doing this every weekend, I do realize how much I miss the Circle and everyone who is a part of it. If anything, knowing I am able to return to school soon is what makes me try and make the best of both worlds I am fortunate to live in.