Saturday, August 7, 2010

summer's end

I hate to jump the gun here, declaring an end to summer when August isn't even a quarter finished yet, but I guess it's the mindset I'm beginning to develop, as I always do this time of year. It's a time of bittersweet and mixed feelings. The days are already gradually shortening though the heat is still overbearing, making one wish for Autumn's speedy arrival, yet want to savor every last bit of summertime. It's time for me to get my mind mentally adjusted for the school year once again, and start making attempts at winding down and getting to sleep earlier and awake by the crack of dawn. I'll be taking on a much greater workload this school year as well, which makes me both anxious to get started, while reluctant to even think about what's in store. What I'll miss most about summer is the sounds of the season - sounds of life and its daily rhythms. Soon I won't hear the waves of cicada calls in the morning, the songs of various birds during the day, or the calming din of cricket chirps greeting the nightfall. It's easy to take these incredible, everyday sounds for granted, as one grows accustomed to their very presence. I've been trying to listen more closely to them lately, as well as look more observantly at my surroundings. I find that taking up a visual form of art, such as drawing or photography, actually makes this process of being more in tune with the present, easier. The same can be said for making music, or in my case, making an effort to listen to music, with an emphasis on the word listen. Ultimately, this can improve one's enjoyment and satisfaction with life, while the need to obtain more extraneous "things", which ultimately lead to a hollow and fleeting happiness, gradually decreases. Unfortunately, none of these things - the drawing, the photography, or the listening to music have ever improved my horrific sense of direction, as anyone who has ever known me will attest to. In the meantime, I finally have acquired one "thing" that I find very useful, a camera that takes decent macro shots. If there's one thing that signals an end to Summer more than anything else, in my humble opinion, it's the discovery of dead cicadas.