Could it really be that we are having the sort of summer that hardly ever happens? The one where the sun predictably shines almost every day? The one where we actually feel hot, and the night skies are so clear we can stargaze to our heart’s content?
We’ve long past the Solstice, and now we are hurtling towards the Equinox, like a horse without its rider in the Grand National. You watch it gallop and gallop faster than any jockey could ever make it, just for the sheer thrill of it. And that is my point. It is going far too fast for my liking. It’s a dish that disappears too quickly, just when you’ve got into the taste, it’s a song that’s over too soon, just as the chorus becomes familiar, it’s a book that ends when you reach the last page, and wish you had not. Oh the disappointment of abrupt endings… but perhaps I’ve said enough…
So with that in mind, and old enough to remember the joy of too few truly long hot summers, I feel a strong and instinctive desire to slow down in order to fully appreciate just what a blessing it is to be immersed in a “Proper Season.”
My head is filled with appropriate music: Otis Reading’s Dock of the Bay, Summer Breeze by the Isley Brothers, and now I’m back in London, Lovin’ Spoonful’s Summer in the City. There are so many wonderful tunes that fit perfectly, but for me, Gershwin probably does it best with Summertime.
And then of course, there is poetry, and W. H. Davies says it so well with Leisure.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
The day before yesterday… now let me see…
Yes. It was the morning of the day before yesterday, and I thought to myself, “I really must write my blog…” so I telephoned a friend and arranged to meet him on the beach where I could lie full length with my feet in his lap while he told me wonderful things about myself as my legs slowly turned the colour of antique French furniture…
Well, the sea breeze is such a delight, and the water winks with sparkling secrets, and there are only so many days in a year that we can truly call perfect, and these are gifts. We must grab them, seize them, cheekily indulge and wallow in them; for we are almost sticking our fingers up at Mother Nature if we do not.
Now rather perversely for one who runs a networking and communications organization, I am at heart a Solitude Junkie. I suppose it is the perfect antidote to all the interacting I have to do in my working and parenting life. Time alone is utter bliss. Silence is Golden… However on this decadent beach day, as I languorously played Hide and Seek with the sun through knitted fingers, while my hair trailed in the warm sand, I felt a great sense of unity with the loose crochet of crowds, and shared their enjoyment of the most perfect of days.
I rattled on about this idea and that, my friend perfectly poised with pen and paper, his lap providing perfect tilt for my toes. Notion, hypothesis, opinion and conclusions flowed as the sun accelerated and fired synapses – what genius! Oh the excitement! Oh happy creative thoughts!
“Do read it back to me please!”
“Read what?” said my friend.
“The last hour. It’s been a stream of consciousness… I know… some really off the wall concepts… amazing how stimulating the sun and sea is…do read it back, it’s going to make a brilliant blog.”
I sat up and blinked. “Well?”
All the while, my admittedly rather informally appointed shorthand secretary had been doing what he does best, and what he does always. He had been sketching. It’s going to be a Fabulous Magazine Cover, apparently. He stood up, and without complaint, brushed the toe-sand off his shorts. “I’ll go and buy you an ice-cream.”
Have a great holiday, wherever you may be. X x x
Image reproduced by kind permission of Jonathon Xavier Coudrille