Summer means happiness, and happiness is a strange thing that only happens in the past: it is a projection on a nonexistent point where what we long to have intersects with what we think we have lost. Thus, in my case, returning to summer is impossible.

Nevertheless, each year, summer insists on coming back. It settles in and displays its deceptive decorations; it invites us to close our eyes and try to experience the moment of weightlessness where the temperature is just right, the breeze exact, the effort minimal. The body rolls down a gentle slope in neutral.

We can abandon ourselves, let the heat melt the mind, put ourselves in a perfect state to relive, briefly, our lost happiness.

Yet once we reach this state, we are never able to have the same connection to past happinesses that we expect. It was the past, not the beach, that affected us this way; it was the eyes of the person that we were in the past and cannot be again. An elusive and irretrievable dream lived just a few meters away from us, by other, future, grown-up children.

—Luis López Navarro

Editors’ note: this project was singled out by the jury of the Street Photography Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring work by the 37 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks!