Summer, a time to focus on the essential

Nin 2015

Every season has its wisdom to offer and every season invites us on a unique path in our lives. I often reflected on the wisdom of spring, autumn and winter, but summer somehow escaped from the regular focus of my pondering.

Summer, what is your essence, what is your character, what is the contribution you offer on a life’s journey?

The answer could be different from year to year, yet today in this moment in time I think summer’s wisdom is to help us focus on the essential. If we live in the part of the world where we can travel freely and are not thorn by war, most of us think of the summer as a time to rest, to recuperate, time to go on a holiday. This summer, partly intentionally partly not intentionally I took a break from the buzz of social sites by reducing my online presence to mere minimum. I also took a break from the regularity of writing and posting on the blog. Sometimes when we do that, we come back to it refreshed. Yet this break, a change of focus, is not necessarily a means in itself. While this action provides a deeper kind of rest, it also invites us to focus on the essential. In this way whatever is our priority at this stage of life can be invited to come on the surface, because we have removed some of the clutter that may otherwise numb and silence our inner voice throughout the year.

Summer is a time to focus on the essential. What is life, or in other words God, asking of you at this time? Use the wisdom of summer to help you discern and may your walk on this earth be renewed, its focus sharpened as you will re-enter into the ordinariness of life after the summer.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 10th August 2015)
Photo by © Iva Beranek

In the heat of the Sun; reminiscence of the summer days

Rovinj 2014
It was a rainy morning and I was awake unusually early. This summer hasn’t been too bad weather wise, yet the fact it was lashing rain already at 4am made me appreciate I was leaving to go on a holiday. I normally don’t like leaving Ireland, every time the day before I go somewhere I instinctively take it all in, the view in front of my house, the love and belonging I feel for the place, experiences that meant the most to me, I take it in with my eyes as well as with my heart. I don’t know why I always go through such a ‘ritual’ but I do and it always makes me smile. And yet, this time I was ready to go, I was ready for a break and the heavy rain in the morning only reinforced this notion even more.

At the airport I bought a book, as I often would. I have so many books in my house, though sometimes I find it hard to choose which of those to bring along when travelling, so I buy a new, random one. More often than not, books I buy are from authors I haven’t read or heard of before. This time, without much thinking, I chose Claire Allan’s “The First Time I Said Goodbye”. Based in Dublin, a bit of mystery, intrigue unfolding page after page, yet it was a light read.

I read it on the plane and continued reading it in Croatia at the coast, where I came to spend the first week of my summer holiday. Sometimes you read a book that speaks into your life, even if the story you read does not resemble yours. As I was reading “The First Time I Said Goodbye”, I realised: I need to write. Thoughts about life, real events mixed with fictional ones gathered within me and wrote themselves inside my mind, as I walked, as I swam, as I went to sleep, as I woke up again. Most of them are lost to that moment in time, but the inspiration still lingers. Yet, I enjoyed many more things in between those reveries; company of good friends, the warmth of sunshine, exploring that corner of Croatian coast, savouring the exquisiteness of the beauty in the area, and above all swimming.

That day the sea was warm, calm, the last blink of sunshine glittered on the surface of the water. I swam towards that golden thread of light as it spread itself in front of me. I let myself immerse deeply in the sea. Then swiftly as if I was made for this I turned on my back to float, my body relaxed, but as I did that it tightened at first and then I let go, I floated, like in the arms of love, sun shone right towards me, I was filled with its light. For a moment all the cares, hopes, dreams, wonderings, fears disappeared, and I let the sea make me relax, make me restful, calm. I was lost to the beauty of the experience, and stored it into a treasure-box of memories from the heat of the Croatian Sun.

© Iva Beranek
 (Dublin, November 2014)
Photo by © Iva B.