Strange Excitement in Summer

I often buy cooked food for lunch at the street corner eatery in our village called Laura’s Sisig or plain “Sisig.” In other months, buying there doesn’t seem special unlike when it’s summer. Yesterday, as usual I went there to buy lunch and again felt the strange excitement in summer about the place–employees from a nearby company and other people which make up Sisig’s regular customers seemed to feel it, too. Excitement was written on their faces as they enjoyed their lunch.

Later on, I discovered that it wasn’t just at Sisig–it was everywhere. I walked back to my place with a hot furious sun above me and assumed that frown on my face, the one you often did when exposed to noonday sun. Folks I met in the streets and those inside tricycles and public jeeps frowned too. But it was strange that frowns like that could still mix with smiles with a ting of excitement you heard in your heart–and it’s all because of summer. Summer can easily dismiss discomforts like that. Never mind the unsettling heat; it’s summer!

I don’t know–it’s probably the thought that it’d soon be long vacation, what with Lent just a few days ahead. And folks would flock to the provinces to observe the event and spend special time with family and friends and picnic at the rice fields or by the beach. Lent is when everything stops and office scenes cease. It’s all rustic scenes and nature trips and simple but fun life.

With thoughts like that, no wonder summer heat is often tolerable. In fact, a welcome discomfort–you think how the kids are home, no more stress at school, no rains, no super typhoons, and best of all–the wife is just around and she gets to prepare meals with her unique flair for cooking and imagination for desserts. Anytime you need to, you just turn around and there they are–the treasures of your life–your wife and kids. And they’re home because it’s summer.

There is excitement in the air, an anticipation of mystery and adventure. Summer is sudden overnights and outings, a random trip to some province or to Tagaytay, and there to absorb yourself in mysteries and new phenomena–something different from the boring routine of city life. Or else, a guest in your house spending overnight with you and talking about excitement in life.

Sometimes, I look afar and muse–why do these life colors appear only in summer? Or perhaps they appear only to me? Is it something about my childhood, something about the present, or is it a peep into the future? Perhaps it’s all the above. The sound of youthful laughter in the street, the echo of whistles and cheering at the basketball court, the soft taps of running shoes on the street pavement in the early morning, the chorus of birds welcoming the sunrise and announcing the sunset. I hear more of these and they become a musical show especially in summer.

Yes, there’s strange excitement in summer.


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