Listening to or making music
In her cycle through the year, Fanny Mendelssohn also composed a piece about June. Listening to it makes me think about sitting in the shade in my garden and watching the butterflies dance through the flowers. In comparison, the Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by Debussy feels much warmer, a taste of the summer to come.
No list would be complete without a mention of Vivaldi’s Summer. His version and also the one by Glasunov perfectly express the floating feeling of a hot summer afternoon. My research also made me come across “Apaisé, boisé” by Camille Pépin, a contemporary piece that transports me into a very summery forest with very old trees.
As with the subject of love for the 1st of May, pop music offers a large variety of songs about summer. One of my favourites is “Zu heiß” by Farin Urlaub, a German ode to just lounging around instead of joining any reolution anytime soon, because it is just to hot to rebel. We can postpone any kind of street fight until maybe autumn, right?
When I was a child in the 702 my father used to play his already dated records. One of them contained “Summer in the City” by The Lovin‘ Spoonful, a song deeply embedded in my oldest memories. Their good news is: „Despite the heat it will be alright.“ We just have to wait with any partying activites until the late evening when the temperatures have dropped a bit.
Of course, there are new and traditional childrens’ songs to be found. For example Disney’s snowman Olaf dreaming about what he would like to do in summer.
I did not come up with any proper Metal songs about summer, but there is always “School’s out” by Alice Cooper celebrating the weeks of freedom lying ahead and also Type O Negative's not exactly refreshing but still enjoyable “Summer Breeze”.
Finally you could join Lisa Thiel or the Latvian group Tautumeitas in honoring the annual return of the summer sun.
The following poem by John Updike captures how we felt as children, when the long weeks of summer holidays were before us, promising sunshine, carefree hours of playing outside and just being able to live in the moment.
June by John Updike
The sun is rich
And gladly pays
In golden hours,
And long green weeks
That never end.
The time Is ours to spend.
There’s Little League,
Hopscotch, the creek,
And, after supper,
The live-long light
Is like a dream,
and freckles come
Like flies to cream.
There is an endless list of summer novels old and new. One book that I will add to my “to read“ list is “How to do nothing“ by Jenny Odell. In it she says:
“Our very idea of productivity is premised on the idea of producing something new, whereas we do not tend to see maintenance and care as productive in the same way.”
There are other similar books out there about how we can learn to cut back from the high level of activity we have grown accustomed to. Also I have seen some fun looking childrens’ books on the same subject.
Two stories I just have to mention are Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” as well as Terry Prattchett’s “Lords and Ladies”, the latter being very obviously based on the former classical comedy. Both of them feature a royal wedding, a group of craftsmen doing their very best to put together a play for the wedding entertainment and the activities of the elves threatening to bring even more chaos into the situation.
These are the questions that might be helpful to ask yourself or the oracle of your choice:
What is growing in your life without you having to do anything?
What in your life actually profits from you not intervening?
How does not being able to keep hold of the moment help you enjoy it even more fully?
How can you integrate regular times for restoration into your schedule?
What does your conscience say about intentionally doing nothing?
Focussing on your most important findings
I have put together my own focus gathering all my findings and then add a picture of it here.