August 18, 2010

Summer

Posted in Weather tagged , , , at 8:33 am by Liliana

Summer fruit

Summer fruit

The writer Henry James said:

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Who of us could disagree?

But I also love summer morning and midday, evening and night. Every part of a summer day has its own charms and delights. And every language has a beautiful word for this enchanting season.

Here is a sampling:

  • English – summer
  • Estonian – suvi
  • Filipino – tag-init
  • French – été
  • German – sommer
  • Hungarian – nyár
  • Icelandic – sumar
  • Indonesian – musim panas
  • Irish – samhradh
  • Italian- estate
  • Latvian – vasara
  • Romanian- vară
  • Serbian – leto
  • Swahili – majira
  • Turkish – yaz
  • Vietnamese – mùa hè
  • Welsh – haf

August 16, 2010

Transitions

Posted in Weather tagged , , , , , , at 9:37 am by Liliana

Lightning bug

Lightning bug

Height of summer.

Last week was unrelentingly hot and humid and even taking an evening walk has not been a pleasant activity.

And yet… Even at this moment when summer is at its peak, when crickets are flustered from their wing flapping song and dance, when the markets are overflowing with the bounty of ripeness and sweetness, I notice transition in the air.

Now, when I take Kaya for a walk, I observe subtle changes of color and dry, crunchy leaves underfoot. The sounds nature makes, especially at night, are frenzied and joyously celebratory. The languid slowness of early summer is gone.

The hot wind has an abundant, smoky and heavy essence, as though it is aggregating seeds of all things alive, and safeguarding them for next year.

When I wake up in the morning, the sky is dark, the days visibly shorter. I feel that I need to start soaking up the sunlight in preparation for the grayness of winter.

When I was a child, I would get deeply saddened by the passing of summer. I loved summer and wanted to hold it tightly in my fist and never let it go. Even though I loved fall and winter, I found transitions difficult and distressing. I didn’t want good things to pass.

Now, I find that it is those very changes and transitions that I embrace. Instead of fighting the winds and peddling against the current, I try to use the strength of change to propel me forward.

I try.

It doesn’t mean that I am not tempted, every once in a while, to want to catch a lightning bug and hold it captive in a mason jar.