In a visually saturated world, we tend to focus on the sights of summer, but what about the sounds? Waves crashing up against deep cliffs, or gently lapping against a boat, tall grass swaying in the wind, or the sound of children playing. Sometimes, there is no better way to appreciate summer than with your eyes closed.
I have a great big tree in my neighbor’s backyard that I get to enjoy from the comfort of my deck. A friend told me recently that it is the tallest in NDG which makes it grand, its branches wide and tall. The leaves bounce and wave in the wind making the most gorgeous rustling sound. As they dance, they sparkle. It is quite a beautiful and relaxing sight, but it is the sound of fluttering leaves high in the sky, that I find most relaxing.
Just back from holiday last week, on day 2 of my jet lag, I was at the gym by 9am, which is highly unusual for me. By 2pm I was tired and since I took a few days of “staycation”, I got to put myself to bed in the middle of day. There was a light rain and as I lay there waiting to fall asleep, inhaling the fresh laundry-like scent, I listened to the sound of the rain lightly splashing the grass and flowers. This is one of my favorite sounds. The light tapping of rain against the earth.
As I lay there in utter appreciation for a cool day following a few days of heat wave discomfort, it took me back to memories of the two best naps of my childhood.
The first was when my family and my father’s brother’s family rented a cottage in the picturesque seaside county of Devon, England. I remember so vividly the tall long-necked white geese waddling past us free from the confines of any fences as we arrived in a farmhouse-sprinkled village. We would spend our days at the beach jumping in the waves and searching for tiny fish in the pools of water that would collect from the ocean spray in the rocks. On this particular day in the late afternoon, the adults excitedly broke out the newly purchased apple cider while we little ones took a nap. I remember we had bunk beds (already exciting) that were surrounded by curtains (!!!). Happily enclosed in this dark cocoon, I could hear my parents laughing as the adults excitedly verbalized their enjoyment of the cider. I fell into a deep relaxation followed by the deepest sleep. I woke up feeling so refreshed that I still remember this nap like it was yesterday.
My other favorite nap was in my maternal grandparent’s house in Charlo, New Brunswick. Having 6 children meant that they had a lot of bedrooms in their house and on this specific vacation, I had the chance to select the room I wanted. I chose the one with white lace curtains overlooking their backyard. It was the late afternoon of a day probably spent at the beach collecting rocks, avoiding jellyfish, and consuming several banana-flavored popsicles. To this day, I can still remember how beautiful the light was as it streamed in through the bedroom window, how the leaves rustled, and the feelings of complete relaxation and contentment as I drifted off to sleep.
It is the smells and sounds that transport me back to restful childhood naps, when summer vacations were months long, vacation relaxed everyone, and we could spend entire days outside getting tan and tired from the sun.
As I lay there, remembering these divine moments of lightness and solitude, it made me think that I need to take more time in my adult life to drink in the sounds of nature; the greatest orchestra.
What is your favorite summer sound?
The cozy sweater café