Armchair Peregrinations

June 26, 2003

The other day, walking during my lunch hour on a hot summer afternoon at the College of Charleston, I heard for the first time the sweet summer song of the cicada, which I listen for with anticipation each year at this time. Their languid, droning sounds reminds me of so many summers past, carefree times, usually, when the late evenings in New Orleans afforded some relief from the heat and humidity, and the evening insect and frog symphonies provided rich natural sounds to enjoy and savor.

Lately at night, when I am coming in from the house in Charleston, I hear these summer night sounds, the ones that linger on into the night after the cicadas have quieted, and I feel a sense of comfort and continuity. Coming down the walkway from my car to the door of my apartment, I make a point of listening intently to those sounds, steady, rhythmic, enduring.

June 16, 2003

Back to work for the first time in two weeks after my vacation which ended Sunday. It's all in the past now. So unbelievable how quickly the days flew by, how fast time sped along each day. One day I am in the mountains of northeast Georgia looking at a waterfall, the next I am in Sumter, far to the southeast in another world.

But that's the good thing about vacations. I really felt far from work and routines, and that is a mighty good feeling. It was good to have every day free; to get up when I wanted. It was great, too, seeing my friends at work. I missed them.

June 12, 2003

Summer has come quickly to Charleston after a very pleasant and springlike May with few hints of the really hot and humid weather we are experiencing now. But in true fashion, those, "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" are here for awhile, and I am going to enjoy the pleasant memories I always have this time of year. It's often been a carefree time, and many an early summer days was spent at Folly Beach years ago when we came there for vacation.

My brother, who now lives at the beach, and I were talking about how much we have to guard against taking the Folly for granted, and how lucky we are to be able to see it every day, for him at least, and I go out there several times a week, usually after work, to sit by the ocean at sunset -- my favorite time of day there. It's hard to believe sometimes that so much natural beauty is so readily available and accessible.

Last night was perfect. Just the right about of sea breeze, nice waves which sound so soothing breaking on shore, and a near full moon to cast its pale glow over the water. I can easily spend hours in that tranquil and relaxing environment, far away from the city mentally, though in physical distance very near.

June 1, 2003

Right in the middle of downtown Charleston, surrounded by parking lots and streets and traffic is a huge old sycamore tree. It's a beautiful tree, and it almost seems a bit out of place, as if it yearns for a quiet creekside setting in the countryside where it can be assured of precious moisture. But it seems to be doing well. I look at it every time I go by, admiring its loveliness and form. I imagine it feels at home there. It makes me feel more at home, too. It makes me feel that I am somewhere else, far away, in a more peaceful place where streams and fields and trees are one with the Earth and truly at rest.

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