MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “summer”

Conserving the summer vibes

©MCD

It isn’t really the return that hurts the most. It’s the crash landing that you feel you subject yourself to when the holiday ends. Because now you have to return to everything you were trying to escape from, to hide from, to pretend they don’t exist. You have to garner the strength to face it all. The reality, the routine, the “normality” you allowed to fade away while you were enjoying the sun, the sea, the fun, the new relationships and experiences the season brings.

We easily fall into depression when the summer ends and we are forced to return to our “ordinary” lives with whatever that entails. Because “normal” has a different definition to each person.  And we strive, at least for the first couple of days, to maintain that optimism and joy the sunlit weeks brought upon us. We struggle to maintain not only the memories of the most enjoyable season of the year, but the mood it brings along. We hope it won’t fade as soon as our tan-line does.

But the thing is, every season has its perks. There is something to enjoy every month of the year – every day, even. We simply need to have the determination to put all those dreams we make when we’re relaxed into concrete actions at any time. Our goals aren’t really seasonally. We can dream and make plans and set targets all year round. And if we’re decisive and courageous enough to take the risk, we can make them happen. We may even be able to conserve that summer optimism and cheerful mood.

Chasing Waterfalls

©MCD

It was a scorching hot summer day, but Jake was of the perception that you should grasp every opportunity offered to you to enjoy life to the fullest. The renowned waterfalls were very close to his holiday stay so he decided to go on the expedition early in the morning.

His car wouldn’t go that far though. It refused to budge further than the asphalt-paved road. So Jake had to get out, put his hat on, grab a bottle of water and take the trail on foot. Trekking was always one of his passions. He thought it would be an easy task.

But along the way, the road became steep downhill and slippery. Then small, sharp steps were added to the challenge, along with pointy branches that hit you abruptly. The temperature became humid and hotter as it took much longer than expected to arrive to the sought destination.

After an hour of trail – given that Jake took a wrong turn and had to go back to find the right road-sign for where he was going – he finally reached a rainforest-like path and could hear the sound of running water.

There was a crowd leading up to it.

Too many people meant he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much as he would like. Tourists often did not appreciate the cultural significance of what they were looking at.

Jake finally reached the foot of the waterfall.

You could hear the stream running from the top of the hill into a 3metre-deep pool. But that was pretty much it. There was not much to see and Jake was unimpressed.

Expectations often lead to disappointment. That was his thought at the sight.

And then he had to take the opposite route to return. And it was all uphill now.

Heatwave mood

dawn-in-montreal

©Dale Rogerson

When the heatwave arrived, any desire for outdoor activity disappeared. Michelle lay in bed, doors and windows closed to keep in the cool of the air condition. Her mood of the day was to do nothing. If possible, to not even get up.

The sky seemed cloudy. It was that hot and humid. The only place to be outside was at the beach, but the sea was miles away.

She stared out the window, half asleep, hoping something would pleasantly alter the laziness that had taken over her.

The silence was broken by a tingling sound. Repeated twice. A message.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Closing for holiday

https://ronetlcnaptown.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/closed-for-dr-king-day-sign-yellow.jpgIt’s that time of year when you walk around and see “closed” signs all over. With the sun burning and the sea seducing you towards it, even the last remnants in the city are scouring for opportunities to escape, even if just for a few days, maybe even hours.

August has its best and worst moments. The worst is knowing you are among the last of those stuck working in a stifling hot city, having to tolerate all those lavishly flaunting their holidays all over social networks.

The best is that at some point during the month, you too will be found on that other side. Lying on a beach somewhere, with the only stress you have being that you don’t actually have anything to worry about. At least not for those moments.

This is also the best month to do pretty much anything you want – to fall in love, to travel, to pick up a new hobby. Because everything seems so refreshing and light. It’s the month when you regenerate yourself. When you reconsider your life options. When you take time off to relax and review everything in a different perspective. That is when you realise where you stand and where you want to go. When you stop and think about it.

And perhaps that is the best thing with this month. That it gives you the chance to take a break and detox yourself from everything so that when you return you’ll be stronger, more determined and more optimistic that better things lie ahead.

Deep breaths without a time limit

http://g02.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1BVERIpXXXXbIXVXXq6xXFXXXr/Custom-photo-wallpaper-3D-stereoscopic-Open-Seaview-Beach-TV-background-3d-mural-wallpaper-20154935.jpgWhen the temperature hits 40 degrees Celsius, you can feel your heartbeat slowing down. You can feel that you’re drifting into a state of daze, of an almost apathy, being struck by drowsiness and that summer laziness you long for all year round. It is precisely at that moment when all you want is to lie on a sunbed with the sea at your feet and think of nothing. Because even that takes too much energy, which right now you don’t have.

It is that summer heat that affects you to actually slow down. To take life as it goes, because “if it will happen, it will on its own”. Those lethargic days when you need to do nothing. To simply enjoy those little things life has to offer, soaking up the moments that fill your heart and engaging in often irrational conversations with the people you love. Because in essence, these are the things that make you smile. And when you smile, the whole world seems brighter. Even after the sun sets.

We all need to relish those few days. To know the difference between working stressfully and running around in a hectic non-stop, and when to relax, take things easier and let some slide.

It’s difficult letting go, even just for a moment. But when you do, you will only wonder why you hadn’t done so sooner. It feels like a weight was lifted off your lungs and you can finally breathe again.

So go ahead, slow down a bit. Take a look at the beauty surrounding you, talk to the people around you, take a nap, go for a walk, read a book, listen to music, just sit in silence with good company. Do all the things you mentally list in your head for when you have time, or do absolutely nothing at all. But whatever you choose to do, make sure it makes you happy. Because in the end, that’s all that matters.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Slowly

Healthy Summer Food

Summer foodIt is quite difficult in those scorching summer months to find something light yet filling to eat and satisfy your taste buds. Because under the heat and the need to simply relax and do as little as possible, cooking becomes one of our lesser-thought-of chores. It is during the summer, though, that we re-consider our nutrition choices and re-instate the determination to eat healthy.

The summer months have the added value of offering a wide range of succulent and ripe fruit and vegetables, which we can use in all sorts of combinations and recipes, with exquisite results.

This is when being a vegetarian pays off, because of the abundance of options broadly available.

Take for example this all-natural recipe (photo): potatoes, aubergines and courgettes, cut in thin layers and lightly cooked, placed below a layer of slowly-cooked natural tomato purée. Best served with feta cheese and fresh bread.

But why would your choice of nutrition have to be seen as a handicap? Why is it that in some places, when you say you don’t eat meat, you are treated as someone who is picky, quirky and fussy? Why is it that when you ask for a “special meal”, due to your vegetarian needs – whatever reason these may come by – you are suddenly presented with some water-boiled vegetables, as if that is the only thing that may be available to your “demanding requirements”?

It is actually not very difficult to cook up food that can suit everyone’s dietary needs. All it takes is some imagination and some compromise. By accommodating nutritional preferences, it would also demonstrate respect for people’s options and choices.

It may be a small thing, but such issues open up even bigger ones, underlining the need to relish in the passions we share, as well as accept the differences that characterize us.

We all have different levels of intelligence, perspectives, tolerance, and patience. And it is true that nobody is perfect, but in our own little ways, we all to some extent can touch upon our own version of perfection.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Perfection

Bottled Message

Tmessage in a bottlehere Andre was, sitting on his luxury soft blue towel, soaking in the last of the summer sun’s rays and enjoying the massaging feeling of the small white pebbles on his back. Routine would strike him sooner than he could expect and he was determined to make the most of every carefree moment he still had. When he got up to turn around – the secret to sunbathing is to roast on both sides equally – his eyes fell upon a glistening object at the water’s edge. At first, he thought it was a reflection that the waves had caused as they foamed ashore. He got up to quench his curiosity. It was a glass bottle. And yes, there was a message inside.

As Andre uncorked the storm-tossed bottle, he carefully unrolled the yellowish creased paper inside. It had four words scribbled on it in panic: “Help! SOS! In danger”.

Andre looked across the sea, towards the horizon. It was an unconscious act. Perhaps in his mind he believed he would have seen the shipwrecked letter-writer emerge and he could run (or rather swim) to his/her rescue. But there was nothing out there. The water was tranquil and not even a sailboat was apparent at the coastline.

Andre took out his tablet – because everyone has one form of technology or other available at all times, even at the beach – and began to search the news for shipwrecks. It took him a while, given the increased incidents of Middle Eastern migrants risking their very lives and abandoning everything in search of a better life in a new continent. But he finally found it. It was a small boat cramming 200 migrants. It had been found just hours after it sunk having completed over half of its perilous journey. All of its passengers, downtrodden humans just like everyone else, with a story of their own to tell if they could, men in their thirties and forties, women who seemed so much older than they really were and children who had had the innocence of their childhood stolen away from them, all perished at sea. All that remained as a reminder of their existence was this scrawny paper.

Andre got up. His holidays had just ended. He spent the rest of his time before returning to work, and as much free time as he had after that, volunteering in shelters and centres that were constructed especially for people who had nothing. Not necessarily for refugees who had come from afar, but even for people in his own country who were struggling to survive. A message in a bottle had changed his entire perspective. If he could have the same influence on someone else, imagine how much change could be brought about.

Also part of Daily Prompt: SOS

Batteries recharged

Villa Bonatsa, Batsi, Andros - ©Maria-Christina DoulamiIt’s amazing how we spend most of the year waiting for that summer month when you’ll finally take a much deserved break from everything for a few weeks, to detox your system and simply escape from the stress that is constantly hanging over your shoulders. The time arrives and you set off ready to let go of it all and just be. But then… How is it possible that these few days always pass by so quickly? Before you know it, you’re on the return journey to your daily routine, feeling as if your trip to paradise was already so long ago.

No matter how fast time passes by though, one thing is certain – even those few days helped your relax, recharge and rejuvenate your exhausted organism. They made you see how much more there is in this life, which we often waste worrying about needless things.

Sure, the city air hits you in the face like a moist sandpaper once you set foot back, but just think how much less that actually annoys you now because you’re still there on that balcony gazing into the sea and listening to the gentle crashing of the waves ashore.

It takes time to re-adjust to reality, but in doing so you know everything will be better now because you’ve recharged every single part of you.

That cleansing free shower

summer-rainThat moment when the first autumn raindrop splashes onto your head. It is remarkable isn’t it? After weeks of scorching heat and often humidity, the rain comes to salvage your water bill. Free showers. Who wouldn’t want that? That’s why you often see people smile when they feel that first cool breeze bringing home the rain.

And when the showers begin, everyone automatically looks up. As if expecting a swarm of vicious drops lining up in those dark clouds, weighing and calculating the distance, altitude and speed with which to attack.

But all that happens is that the sky finally opens up and drowns out the heat that for so many days has been stifling the land underneath. People run in all directions trying to avoid getting wet, but in the end just become all the more soaked, as they are still wearing their summer sandals, their linen shirts (that become see-through wet t-shirts) and have no umbrella. It’s fun seeing all these people so unprepared. Autumn rain does that. Particularly if it comes during a time of summer heat.

It’s just not that fun when you are the one caught on the side of the road where all the puddles are concentrated and all the cars speed by. Or when you are the one caught in the autumn storm without an umbrella. Or worse yet, when you stand under a balcony until the rage subsides, and get splashed by the waterdrops washing off the plants and tents above you. Refreshing as it may be, when it happens to you, it is truly not that funny.

All in all though, we all need a few showers in a period of draught. It helps rejuvenate, revitalize and refresh our minds and souls. It cleans out all the negative feelings and allows you to view the world with a new perspective. It is a regeneration of sorts. A necessary and much welcomed new beginning for a new season that is just starting.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

The fish and the diver

Diver and fishThe saying goes that time flies when you’re having fun. Many people can testify that time passes even faster in the summer. The days are longer and yet they always appear too short. And before you know it, summer has passed and a new season approaches.

The end of vacations leaves you with a sweet lust for more – a longing for a life of eternal holiday, carefree and away from anything that causes stress and white hair to appear.

A yearning to escape the “real” life, for something more…desirable.

But given the chance, would you truly do so? There always seems to be something pulling you back. A cautious realism fighting the idealistic dream.

And it instils within you a dilemma. What would you do if you were given the chance to change your life?

Here’s a short story on this:

There once was a young man who worked as a banker. He hated the fact that his job was same in same out. There was no excitement. Nothing that sparked the adrenaline in his body. Nothing at all like diving, which he loved and would do at every opportunity he got. He dreamed of a house by the sea, where he could spend endless hours in the water with his favourite sport. But the problem was the one thing he was now occupying his days with: money. If he followed his dream, he would soon be short of cash, and have no income whatsoever. It would be much harder finding a job as a diver than as a banker.

One day, in his diving expeditions, he saw a beautiful yellow-coloured fish swimming around him. He stood still and used his snorkelling gear to take a closer look. It was a fish that seemed as sleek as the clear waters that day. And as it reflected the rays of the sun it appeared to be sparkling. As if it was wearing a crown of diamonds. The fish was not afraid of him. Far from it. It even swam right up to him. And as the diver could not resist, he stretched out his hand as if to catch it.

The fish swam right into his palm instead of away from it.

Hauling it out of the water, the diver observed the fish closely. It appeared to be staring intently at him. As if it wanted to say something.

You’re wondering what kind of a fish I am”, he suddenly heard a voice say.

“I’m enchanted. And I can change your life as you please.”

It was the fish that was speaking to him. It had a soothing feminine voice that suited its regal figure.

The diver gasped and almost dropped it back into the water. The fish was sitting still in his hand. Not gushing at all, like it would be expected from fish out of water.

“How? What? How…?” thought the dumbstruck diver.

“Here’s the issue,said the fish. “You can either kiss me and I will turn into a princess and we may end up together. Or you may say the word and you will become a fish too, here with me, swimming freely for the rest of your days without a care in the world.”

The diver was flabbergasted. What do you say to that? Do you accept a princess and endure the hardships of supporting both of you, or do you abandon the human world for that of the life aquatic?

It was a tough decision to make. But in his heart he knew what he would choose…

What would you choose?

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