Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Greens

Here comes the Sun…

And the humidity, and the mosquitoes, and the weird crawlers up my bedroom wall.

So this is summer in Westchester. Sure it’s sunshine and green all around. But it’s also slimy, grimy, and a bit stuffy too.

I see people lounging on their garden chairs in swim shorts, with not a sea or lake or even a small creek in sight. I see children riding their bikes in tick infested parks. But who cares, summer is here!

I see mothers, flaunting their blooming summer dresses as they drop their kids to school each morning, and I ask myself: why am I still in jeans and fall-toned tee shirts? Why has my inner summer not kicked in yet? I guess I don’t like heat, nor humidity, and certainly not the sting that follows a bug bite just at the tip of my toe. But seriously, it’s June already, where is my summer?

I look around me and all I see are shopping bags. 17 gifts for 17 close family members and friends back home. So that’s where it’s been hiding… back home. Funny I still call it home after 11 years of roaming. But every summer I take the kids and go back to spend July and August in and with Egypt. We land in Cairo, do the social rounds and then shed our jeans and shabby tees and head straight to the beach.

My son just came up to me. He says: ‘Mami’, why aren’t you wearing shorts??? It’s really hot outside!

I look at him with empty eyes. I see myself wearing my Gap tan shorts and a flashy yellow Burch flip flop. But I’m not here, sitting in my bedroom, sipping tea and typing this post. I’m miles away across the seas, lounging with my friends and perfecting my tan while having my tea.

I’ll wear my shorts when we go to Egypt, I tell him. He gives me that quizzical look to put some pressure for a more detailed answer; a more convincing reason for a four-year-old. How can I explain it to him?

In his mind, it’s simple. The sun comes out, we put shorts on. So why is ‘Mami’ a couple of seasons behind?

In my mind, life is seldom that simple, especially when a lot of Roamer related complexities are playing out. Westchester with all its serene scenery and bug infested atmosphere is my home three quarters of the year. It should not and will not claim my summer too. The sunny season belongs to another, equally bug infested place. It’s not Egypt!

It’s specifically a small square of white stone built on a 300SqM land in the middle of the Egyptian desert on the Northern Coast of the Mediterranean. It’s my small beach cabin. That’s my summer home and that’s where I wear my sun dresses, enjoy the sunshine and don my OFF spray armor as I prepare for my nightly battle with mosquitoes. I lose my fights daily, but I cherish those moments as they mark the beginning and end of every summer of my roaming life.

It is the one constant, the anchor which brings us all back to our home. Any other notion of home is transient. We live it for what it is, a moment of our lives. But our summer cabin remains, patiently waiting, wrapped in plastics and covered in sand, every summer for us to go back, open its windows wide and let the sun in.

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