When you live in a country with just 2 seasons- summer, winter and something in between that we call spring, where summers last for 7 months and winter for just 3 months and the remaining two of that something in between, where winters are not cold and dreary like the countries to the West but spells the best of spring and autumn of those countries, then you wait desperately for the winters. If you are the kind who loves everything that speaks nature, then you will understand, the impatience, the discomfort and the longing and your heart must ache like mine, for you can wait no longer for those last few months to end before the season changes .
I sit at my computer on this last day of September and look out of the window. The sky, a clear, cloudless white looks upon the earth below which awaits its salvation . The sun continues to blaze down relentlessly as it has been doing during the last five months with temperatures varying between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius, brown- gray apartment buildings camouflage with the sand, a few brown shrubs grow against all odds, sunlight glints off unfriendly glass windows, the streets are bare except for air-conditioned vehicles that carry dehydrated folks and you have a landscape that screams out aloud “Enough!”.
It’s been ages since I went for my morning walk and on those few occasions that I managed to fool myself into believing that summer was ending or it would if I believed , there was just me and a few others who were compelled to walk their dogs or their little children who had had enough of sitting within 4 walls. Big dogs walked with their tongues out looking more ferocious than ever, the smaller ones rolled around on the few patches of grass that had stood through the summers, thanks to the constant watering by the civic bodies and their owners, stood by, with a persistent frown. Parents with kids followed their children with utmost patience. And walkers like me passed by each other, ear phones on, the music being the last straw on which their walk depended. No smiles. No “Good Morning”.
A few sparrows chirped, flying up in unison to perch on a lone, green tree as I made my way; the only sound breaking the stifling silence. Not a leaf moved. A bead of sweat trickle down my forehead and another down my back. The air was still and my throat parched. All I wished was for a gust of wind. Still a kilometer to go. And then as if my prayer had been heard, I felt a breeze, warm, yet refreshing. It blew over me. It walked along with me, enveloping me and dropped me home. A miracle, the summer breeze, for which I had been grateful but could not muster up the courage to take another walk in the sweltering heat.
Another month and a half and I know winter will come. After the scorching hot summer, there will a soft, sweet winter, of that I am sure.But my heart is restless and it pines for the chill in the air, when the sand is a cool satin, the streets inviting, lined with pink and purple petunias their petals fluttering in the breeze , the buildings alive; the balconies decked with potted plants and roundabouts adorned with cheery looking yellow and orange marigolds.
I wait to smell the wet grass again, to see the cats and the dogs bask lazily in the welcome rays of the winter sun, to see the birds that migrate from distant lands as the land I live in transforms magically into a haven for all. I long to take my walks again, when I can get out of the house again, when every step I take is filled with gratitude for the beauty of winter, when I can walk forever and wish I never had to go back indoors, when every moment is worth a million and gratitude fills my heart for that which has been bestowed and when I feel pure joy that I have survived the summer and I can enjoy yet another winter on this blessed land. Until then I shall wait and my heart I will distract as I have just done; by the memory of the last winter and the many winters before it. For every winter, I am eternally thankful.
Why are summers so long and why do winters come and go in the blink of an eye?
What do you long for?
When was the last time you stopped to enjoy the breeze, to take a walk, to look at the flowers. Do share your thoughts. It might just help me get through this last leg of the summer :).
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