And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
Aaah, summer, that most bright and bothersome of seasons when the earth glows with the harshest of lights and we linger languidly in the heat haze, surrendering to the demands of the scorching sun. In truth, summer has always been the season I've felt most conflicted about, finding the heat too brutal for my liking and too harsh on my pale, freckled skin. But I've changed in recent years and I embrace it more than ever, relishing the sloth that the heat induces, sinking into the long, slow days. The height of summer is marked by shimmering horizons and an abundance of complaining, "Ugh, it's hoooooottt!!!" Somehow stating the obvious brings a microsecond of relief and we do it over and over again, greeting others with the same refrain as we fluff out our shirts in order to trap some whisper of a breeze.
This year I have a cold ocean close by and it's impossible for me to explain how fervently I've been anticipating dunking myself in the magical waters of the Indian Ocean on one of those whiney-hot days. I have dreamed of it for several years and as the mercury rises so does the feeling that my dreams will soon be real. I went for my first swim of the season almost two weeks ago - it was delicious, but the air was still brisk and it was painful getting in past my waist. I just adore the feeling of jumping in without reservation on a day when you feel like you're in hades itself. That crisp, cool relief is an elixir like no other! My favourite days are those when the water is still and clearer than you can possibly understand. You dive down with your goggles on and see the light playing on the sand, and a school of silver fish which flashes before your eyes. A stingaree emerges from the ocean floor, then you come up for a breath and the big blue sky swallows up your whole vision. All at once you feel so very alive!
This summer I will split myself between the ocean and my makeshift studio in the dining room of our new home. I will walk between the two worlds and embrace them both with gratitude. I want to get up early and dunk myself in the salt water, drink coffee on the walk home and then immerse myself in the creations that the ocean has inspired. Oh goddess of all that is wondrous, doesn't that sound like the most beautiful summer routine ever? Add big bowls of salad, ice-cold fizzy drinks, aircon and a sleepy cat and it's pretty much bliss to me.
But enough with the dreaming...it's time to go and dip some brushes in paint! It's so nice to feel settled once again, and like I can devote all my time to my loves. I so look forward to seeing what this new place, this new routine, brings....
Talk soon. xx