The Sun Rises on the Summer Season

Whether or not I can summon regular installments of the ‘Summer Memories’ series I half-heartedly started a few years ago remains to be seen, but that is my intent to keep things fresh on the blog. Summer burns both music and memories into one’s consciousness, searing such indelible moments into the mind due to a combination of heightened temperatures and heightened emotions. It’s a deliciously heady time, thanks to the sensual delights of sun and water, fragrance and light.

Water and light have formed the critical crux of many a summer moment. I can still remember an oppressively hot weekend in New York City when the simple sound of running water seemed to cool everything down. Most of the hotels were booked (and this was before the median night cost $350) but a little place in Chelsea still had a room available. It was an interesting few floors – typically cramped, with a shared bathroom down the hall, and a strange little room on the second floor, which had an open-top hexagonal aquarium/terrarium in the middle of the space. I’d never seen such a set-up before, both an architectural piece and a place for a pet, with seemingly no other point for the room’s existence.

Goldfish swam languidly in the expansive tank, and I crouched down to peer in at them. Somehow, some light managed to penetrate the alleyway behind the building, filling the space and reflecting the iridescent scales of the fish. The sound of the tank’s running water, and the bright oasis in the middle of the city, soothed me. Summer, and the heat bouncing hard off the cement and the buildings, can be trying in New York. This moment made it all right. During my weekend there, I’d pause whenever I passed the second floor, rejuvenating heat fatigue and calming frayed nerves.

That’s the beautiful conundrum of summer – so much gorgeousness, so much heat, so many attempts at cooling off. It makes the head concoct all sorts of strange scenarios, such as stalking. It also affords moments of respite, high above the city. There are walks to more water, and music that is giddy and innocent, or imbued with an underlying darkness. It’s the season of the sun… even if we’re not quite there.

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