An Idle Wakefulness

Soap Bubbles in the sun by Michael

It's summer but I have the winter feelings of December filling my heart and my head; these distant moments rushing through my veins from my ears where Joshua Radin is singing through my headphones. I love this contrast of many forms...summer and winter, cold and heat, dreaming and waking, love and death, the quiet and the noise, remembering and forgetting.

Summer always reminds me of idle wakefulness. I imagine it always like a tug-of-war between action and inaction. The season inspires you to do something, start something...anything; then again, it also invites you to relax and unwind and let go.  It is that fragile and beautiful a season. I remember spending summer days (when I was still in school) reading. Just reading. I had a schedule then. I would do my reading after lunch and then I would sleep. I probably read the Harry Potter books twice in just one summer! I also remember literally just cleaning and looking at things around the house, exploring things to do. Sometimes I would draw, bike around the village, bake, learn to play the piano or the guitar, or reorganize my closet. But most times, my sisters and I would read. And we would listen, sing along, or dance around the house with Shania Twain's album on full blast. 

Sometimes I feel like with summer, I can escape to a faraway place. A place where days are spent imagining and playing and being curious and asking questions and just being a kid. A place without internet. Sometimes though, summer takes me to places that I know exist only in films and novels. Why? Because these places are short-lived. They are short-lived within the pages or the reels they are in, yet their stories or characters or lessons are captured so timelessly in time. The end of summer represents the end of a vacation, and of going back to old, familiar places---it could be going back to work or school, or saying goodbye to friends or family who have come over for a summer vacation. After summer, there is always that place we need to get back to. After the season of unwinding and relaxation, there are still the matters of great consequence awaiting us. No matter how difficult it is for us to say goodbye, we say goodbye to summer. Yet it does not mean that we forget summer. The memories remain with us, just like the books we read, or the films we see.

My summer this year has been different. Unlike most people I know, going to the beach is not really my idea of a summer getaway. I studied and worked through the summer, as with the previous holidays. I'm getting the hang of getting less and less vacations, but I also believe that I am happier. :) It is not easy to build a dream (*smiles*). Sometimes, I imagine myself years from now, writing still and telling people about these experiences. I've collected and written a few of them in my head (and I cannot wait to share them!). I am surprised to even find some of these random 'notes' or 'writings' I had put in my iPod or laptop or notebooks a few months back. There was even this 'letter' I had written down for my future grandchildren about following one's dreams and not giving up (I might blog about it next). I had forgotten I wrote it until one night this summer when I was searching for something in my iPod. :)

My point is summer will always be a time of rediscovery. I guess we all have memories of summer that we will never forget, and I believe that we do not really forget them because it was the time when we rediscover something--be it a place, or a hobby, or friendship, or even ourselves. And again, the season allows for these rediscoveries because it is a time of idle wakefulness. With summer, we always gravitate towards actively pursuing places that make us feel at home. 

The little girl on her bed, reading her book in the quiet afternoon of May would not have realized this until years later: She will always be captivated by this state of idle wakefulness--this beautiful, mysterious contrast of summer. 

Sharing this story that I absolutely love. It speaks of beautiful contrasts too. :) "Heading in the same direction, but having very much started on opposite sides of the street."



Coming home.


SERVE LIFE FORWARD: Travel meaningfully, Live joyfully.