Friday, June 28, 2013

Sounds of Summer


I was alone in the temporary apartment last night. In the total silence of dark space we have inhabited almost exclusively at night, I realized that I have let an entire week go by and I have not spent time outside.

All my life this realization has pricked a place in my heart that aches when the sun hasn't touched my face. Taking a break from packing up the few items we are still carrying with us during this transition, I decided to step out onto the balcony.

I expected to be bombarded with mosquitoes as I have been each time I've attempted a few moments outside all week, but today there were none. A gentle rain had begun and cleared the air of oppressing heat and thankfully, annoying insects.

The smell of summer was overwhelming. Dry soil growing moist, red clay being watered to life, moss, flowers, trees all revealing their true natures as the dust drips away. This combination of smells takes me back to my grandmother's jungle in Tampa, Florida when afternoon thunderstorms cooled down the earth again so little girls could play. The sky was radiant with huge rolling clouds in every color of gray all silhouetted by bright white light.

It was so cathartic to just stop. STOP. I stood there with my face upturned and I slowly relaxed into the rain drops that seemed to tentatively leap onto my face.

More so than the smells that are part jungle and part childhood, or the rain drops that sprinkled my eyes back to life, it was the sound that sent my soul reeling.

All of a sudden, as if from nowhere, the clattering motor of the summer cicadas began their windup in unison before delving into their evening lullaby. The buzzing, vibrating, shrill volume of those mysterious bugs sang right in to my heart. I experienced such a relief from the adult world of tomorrows and to-dos. There is a lot to do, there has been a lot to do, there is more still to do but in the midst of it all, all the provision, blessings, rest and exhaustion, it was a gift to stop and listen.

The sounds of summer in the Carolina South could be spiritual dinner bell that calls me home to the me I love best. The aroma of magnolia blossoms nearly distilled from two weeks of June heat, the wet dirt, the knocking of the rain drops on the wood porch, and the deafening chorus of the cicadas all brought forth a waterfall of precious memories from many, many Carolina summers.

I stood there until the bright white silhouettes turned to pink and then rain fell too hard to tickle. Finally, I returned to the chore of packing once again. Piling books back into their designated boxes I opened up one on animal totems. I was struck by the moment on the balcony and the line that I read. It left me with the same thought that I plan to leave with you.

Recognize the energy you share in life is eternal and then you will embrace the journey with continuous care.