I don’t know if I’ve ever made it known to everyone on here, but I love the winter. There’s something so comforting about the silence of a fresh snowfall, I can escape everything and just be for a minute. What a feeling that is!
But alas, I don’t live in Alaska or Siberia, my dream worlds, and so the sun gets closer and the days get longer and eventually the serene white landscape goes yellow… and green. The crispness of the blue in the sky fades and becomes blurred in the heat that is summer. I don’t really acknowledge the presence of spring, to be honest with you. Anything above 73 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot for me, so even in the spring I’m usually uncomfortably warm.
My heart was torn from me for three years in a row as a child; we had to move to southern Texas, the land of the Equatorial Summer. When you’re 6 years old and already the most anticipated part of your life is the snow day, moving to a place where everyone your age has never even seen snow before is practically crushing to the psyche. I made my way, though, and when we finally returned home, I was ready! I still feel like, after over a decade, I’m still trying to make up for those three missed years.
During those times of the year I don’t have the catching-up opportunity, I have even worse problems. I’m not exactly the most slim person in the world, although most people would say I am a very good weight for my size and age. My whole life, though, I’ve thought I was too heavy, a combination of the unnaturally slim ‘normal’ the media portrays women as and the seemingly constant suggestions from my mother to join her in dieting while growing up (which included Atkins and Slimfast diets; can you imagine a 16 year old taking a Slimfast for her lunch to school? Yeah, my life.) As a teenager, I became very stubborn against the iamge of womanhood, and so became increasingly self-conscious about womanhood at the same time. The idea of a two piece bathing suit unnerved me. The fact I had to start shaving at age 12 didn’t help my interest in exposing my legs to the world, let alone my underarms. It was so much nicer to be comfy in my clothes and covered up, instead of hiding my skin under a sauna of denim and knit T-shirts. And then, of course, I get sent to a school with a dress code and no air conditioning. Wonderful.
So, by now you figure, “Time for her to start really ranting on the summer!” Right? Well, although I don’t mean to disappoint, this actually isn’t a rant. This is a celebration. You see, my seasonal bias has developed a very thick skin toward any weather that is not goosebump-inducing. I had gotten to the point that if I wasn’t at the brink of shivering, I could not properly function as myself. The temperature of the world began to consume my life, a subconscious obsession that I was perfectly happy with. Unless it was warm…
In the past few years, however, I’ve really had to come to terms with my resentment of sweat and skimpy bikinis. It’s been a gradual transition into enjoying the blazing sun. Most of it has been my fantastic boyfriend, who has managed by some miracle to make me realize I am attractive, and was REALLY attractive in high school, despite not being one of the ‘perfect people.’ My self-esteem over my physical image is where it should be (although I am working on getting my weight back down right now); I’m confident in myself to pull of that two piece bathing suit, even if I’m not to a full-on bikini.
The other reason, and the main reason I started this ramble, is exactly what I’m doing now. Writing. I know I said that the void quiet of winter is what brings me to myself, and that still is the case. I have found, however, that there is a muse for me in the rippling summer air; music.
It struck me, really, just this evening. Music has always been a muse of mine. I have to have the radio or my Zune playing in the car while I drive. Most of the time, when I write, I need some music in the background, just light enough to hear and maybe chime in with a song or two to give my fingers a break. But it’s always been music that strikes my soul just right. Every fanfiction that has ever played out in my mind, no matter what story it begins as, turns into a musical. The songs that fit each part of the storyline in a perfect playlist for my to watch in my head whenever I want, and sing along.
I realized while trying to think of something to write today that the high school band across the street has started practicing, and it hit me as they went through a scale: summer is the time for sound, for music, the music of nature and man melding in the air of the world. The birds are always chirping in some tree somewhere, the cicadas are coming, and their little hisses give the backdrop to crickets and rabbit rustlings in the grass, and somewhere in the distance the cymbal screech of the red-tail begins a new verse. Even in the stillness of December, I need that music behind me to push me ahead. In the summer, I don’t need to provide it at all. It’s already there swirling through my eardrums.
And I love every note.
In the coming days or weeks or whatnot, I’m going to include some of my strongest musical muses and what they mean to me. Keep an ear out!