There are friends who are mesmerised by the mention of the word summer. About the first thing that comes to their mind is “it’s the holiday season, basking under the bright sunshine”. Well in many ways, especially those living in the northern and southern hemisphere, this is true.
Indeed, even those who live on sunny Singapore, where its perpetually summer on every other month save for days when it rains, we too get caught up in this summer mood. To begin with, it’s the school holiday season, so the kids would tug at their parents to bring them abroad. And, there begins the mad rush from as early as March for parents to start booking for their sojourn to Asia, or further to US and Europe.
If I may extract a poem written by one Jim Milks that I stumbled upon the web, to describe his idea of what summer is:
A warm summer day
without a cloud in sight
A baby bird
Taking its first flight
This is what summer means to me
Trees full of leaves
Giving me shade
My dad and I
Fishing in the glade
This is what summer means to me.
Yes, indeed it sounds more like summer to me when I was a kid, living in a simple neighbourhood designed by the SIT (Singapore Improvement Trust) before HDB came into the picture. We never dreamt of big ticket holidays. June holidays were a time to frolic under the sun, kite flying, or playing by the big drain behind my block of flat, running around the field with my football, or a game of badminton and that’s about all. Occasionally, I would be invited to go on a ride on a Vespa scooter. That’s about all there is to summer school holiday season.
I was fortunate to have done a summer course in a university in the US. Yes, almost everyone was away except for a number of us, several housewives (whom I knew because they came for lecture with baskets filled not with books but with groceries), but, of course, there was no summer loving so don’t ask me to “Tell me more…” (John Travolta’s Grease).
There were other occasions in the UK, where we spent hours in Hyde Park, at times at Speaker’s Corner or just lazing on the grass, chatting and enjoying the beautiful summer’s day. As the years passed, I joined the maddening crowd in Europe from Paris, Amsterdam, Bonn and even Waikiki beach in Hawaii. One occasion that is vividly carved in my memory is when I was with the crowd in a pub in a beer garden. There was no need for rehearsal as each time it came to the chorus of “Que Sera Sera.. whatever will be, will be…” everyone stood up and joined in with jugs of spilling beer in hand. Oh, it was electrifying! It’s part of the 80s SMS – or what is called the Summer Madness Syndrome.
Whatever it is undoubtedly summer is a time of joy, to let yourself loose and go and enjoy your life while you have the health, the energy and the time to do so. Or, you may choose just to laze around, read a book or two and do the things that you want to but haven’t had the time for.
You don’t have to go overseas to find joy; just cycling around Singapore can be very interesting. And you’ll realise how many things around us we never noticed because we were always in a hurry, in a bus, a train or a car. I saw squirrels scampering among the trees. Or go on any of the many heritage trails. Bird watching anyone? Maybe pause and think when was the last time you visited a museum? What about discovering the different places of worship in our midst? Or, go island hopping – Singapore is made up of 63 islands you know? And, if you are a history buff, there’s a whole lot of stuff to look for from the time Raffles landed in Singapore. – BY SUNNY WEE
Image from Pixabay