I came to realized that summer marks its end. As the thought sinks in, a hint of sadness seems to creep into my heart.

What is it about the end of summer that fills me with sadness? Is it because it lets the curtain fall with seeming finality on a season when time appears to be a luxury I can afford? Is it because it heralds the coming of the rainy season that spells gloom and melancholy for the most part? Whatever the reason, there’s something about summer that when it departs leaves me yearning for something more.

It is a time when dreams and hopes are re-visited. Signals the end of a long vacation. Provides respite from the killer pace.

No other season probably frees my spirit more or brings me closest to my true self than summer. It is the welcome pause, the break in my stride that provides respite from the killer pace that characterizes most of my days. It is the brief interlude when I0 remember life’s simple but lasting joys and try to fill my days with them. I let myself loose, allowing my masks to fall, as I eagerly reach out to embrace the season’s joys.

Summer is a magical time for me. Feeling young and carefree: the early morning sunshine, water, and clean air. And I savor all that is good for my soul: friendship, love, tears and laughter. I don my trunks, put on sunscreen, shades and my havianas, then gleefully abandon myself to the elements. I frolic in the sea and on the sand. I feast on ice cream cones, popcorn and cotton candy, grilled hotdogs and barbecues. Like little children, I discover new places, roam festive arcades, fly kites, and conquer my fears on. I delight in nature’s panoramic vistas, in boat rides and moonlit strolls, in the scent of magnolias, and in the festive mood that fills the air. I make time for getaways with friends and loved ones, re-kindling and deepening the ties that bind. I feel less acutely the worries and cares that normally plague me. Sometimes, even momentarily, they are forgotten. I come alive. My smiles grow wider, my laughter sounds richer and my heart sings. As I bare more of my flesh, I find myself feeling vulnerable, because I succeeded in baring more of my soul, too.

Because summer is also a time when I contemplate and mark where I am in my life’s journey. As the insulation that protects my personal life wears thin during the long vacation, I catch honest glimpses of my real self. I come face to face more easily with all that is unresolved and unfinished. I look back on the New Year and see how many of my dreams and resolutions I have fulfilled and kept. I look forward to the end of the year to see how much time I have left to fulfill what I haven’t. I spring clean not just my home but also the many corners of my heart where dreams lay shattered. And with more time on my hand than usual, I grapple with life’s deeper questions: How far have I come in my journey? Am I on the right path? Will I get to the future that I have been shaping?

Summer is a season of discovery and renewal – giving birth to countless dreams, giving life to great stories. That is probably why I am tempted to cling to it as it leaves me. I will miss it because it never fails to remind me of all that is good in life and all that I overlook and neglect for the most part of the year. It reminds me of my lost time and that time when the sun seems to shine a little brighter, the moon’s glow a little softer, the night’s darkness, just like my memories, a little more friendly and forgiving. It is that time when I seem to be most vibrantly alive, fearless and free. And so I balk as another season starts knocking. I fear that its heavy rains and thunderstorms will lay waste not just the garden but will once again throw me into mental and emotional turmoil, leaving me physically spent. I recoil from the bedlam that another cycle would surely bring. I cringe at the thought of being stuck once again in routine and the mundane. But I need not cling to summer. I can let it go yet keep it alive in my heart as I honor life and celebrate its pure joys and small victories. I can keep it alive as I free my mind, keep the connection and stay close to my core. I need not fear its end because it marks but a passage into another season that is also meant to teach me more about myself and my life, bringing me closer to home.



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