Summer bits and pieces: On smiles, books, and highways - Filipino Journal

Summer bits and pieces: On smiles, books, and highways

Summer bits and pieces:  On smiles, books, and highways

So how has your summer been? Sure, we had scorching temperatures in the past three months, and while we can only hope that summer feeling extends through fall, there is no way to stop the autumn from coming.

But before we will let the leaves wither and fall to the earth, how about reminisce the summer 2012 memories? Certainly, we have different stories to tell, but perhaps you would agree with me on these summer experiences too.

The rarity of smiles and hellos
Most of my summer I have spent walking or running at the park at least four days a week. Since the weather has been good and predictable, I thought it is a good idea to let the sun kiss me in a natural way. I am not really a “park” person. I’d rather run or hike on trails and jungles, than to walk on concrete pavements and tread the same route over and over again. But this summer, I tried running at the park anyway. It may be the same route that I run almost everyday, but I do see different faces which makes the park interesting to go back to.

I feel for actions that speak of human experiences- teenage couples holding hands on their first dates, old sweethearts still holding hands while walking in slow pace, parents taking their kids to the pool and playgrounds, friends hanging around chasing balls, or talking over cups of coffee or beer, families on a picnic, and “soloists” who rather enjoy solemnity reading books or taking photographs. To me, the park, as any public place, is a home of many life stories. It makes me relive the feeling that I was once that teenager who was blushing when the guy that I like held my hand for the first time. It makes me wish as well to be that woman who, though old, still has a love story that keeps her blush.

So many people visit the park each day, and though they shared laughters and cheers to their families and friends, I wonder why they can’t exchange his-and-hellos to strangers. Of course that’s a no brainer. You never really know what will you get when you smile to a stranger, right? In this urban jungle, safety is more important than congeniality, Perhaps yes. But would it be nice to exchange smiles whenever you bump into other runners, or whenever you sit next to another person who stares at the same river you are staring? You wonder how powerful the gadgets (ipods, iphones, ipads, ebook readers, etc) have become in isolating yourself from real conversations. Maybe, I should just mind my own business, but I actually tried initiating conversations with few strangers, and they did not creep out nor did I. So maybe next time, you can do the same thing too. Exchanging smiles and hellos to other human beings won’t really kill you.

Longing for Christian Grey
Who has not heard of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy? The lives of the fictional characters Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele were avidly followed by the bookworms and even the not-so-book-lovers, this summer. I remember the first time I heard of the book. I was intrigued but didn’t really buy a copy as I am not much of a fiction- lover. My bestfriend insisted that I should read it so he sent me epub copies of the Fifty Shades books. Well, did i just spend six hours to finish the Fifty Shades of Grey? And I did not stop my reading until I was done with the Fifty Shades Freed.

The trilogy is really entertaining, although literary-wise, it couldn’t be at par with Anne Rice’s novels. Let’s give credit to EL James’s imagination-turned-literary-artwork, which arose different reviews from all over the world. Some reviews said her trilogy is schlock, others commend it as it is more enjoyable than other literary erotic books. Well, the fact that it has sold over 4 million copies since it was published means the book is not really that bad. But really, it could have been better.

Highways
When else is the best time to go for a road trip but during summer! Canadians made a news last month for that! Reports of Statistics Canada revealed that travel across the border in both directions increased in June, but it was Canadian overnight trips to the U.S. that broke records. Canadians made 1.9 million overnight visits to the U.S. that month, the highest number since the government agency started keeping records in 1972.

While others choose to cross the border, some rather travelled to the Canadian provinces, through the prairies and to the coasts. My friends and I drove to British Columbia last June, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to surmount a three-day trip on the road, if it were winter. That was not my first time on a road trip, however. I’ve been on the roads and up in the air for a number of times already, and I still believe that the way to know if you love or hate the person is to travel with them. After all, “good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter”.

So, these are some of my recollections for the Summer 2012. It has been wonderful to me, and I think to most people too. I honestly see more vibrant faces this summer than the last. And though fall is upcoming and winter will be next, I wish the radiance of the sun will stay in our faces and in our smiles until next year when we get to wear our bright flip-flops again. 🙂