Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,

a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.

If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, 

this is the best season of your life.

–Wu Men

As this beautiful poem says: here you’ll find my atmospheric seasonal photographs that hopefully will bring a smile to your face. Because every now and then we all need a little distraction and a moment to ourselves, don’t we? So have a look and enjoy!

THEME: SUMMER

Summer at last!

Spontaneous barbecues with your friends. The taste of salt on your skin right after taking a dip in the sea. Sand between your toes. Shimmering heat above melting asphalt. The excitement of leaving in the dead of night and driving down to Spain non-stop. The laughter of your neighbours who are staying out late. A twinkling starry sky that holds the promise of yet another glorious morning. That unmistakable smell of citronella. The hypnotic sound of buzzing bees.

Taking pleasure in getting soaked while washing the car. Dozing off in the middle of the day because of the heat. Enjoying the glorious display of multi-coloured flowers. Going out all dressed in white and not look foolish. The shrill sound of crickets. A blush on your cheeks with no makeup on. The ice cream man’s bell. The clear, high-pitched sound of children’s voices in the distance. A day at the coast.

Long evenings that never seem to turn into night. Crushing lavender flowers between your fingers, and then inhaling the sweet, intoxicating scent with delight. No congestion when you go to work and finding a parking space right outside the office. Unfurling the awning all the way without having to roll it back up again at night. Moths fluttering around your outside light. Taking childish delight in spraying yourself with the garden hose. Taking a holiday in your own backyard.

Trees that now carry a full crown of green leaves. Setting up the baby pool for the kids but spending more time in it than they do. Dragging the TV outside to watch football with friends (too bad the Dutch team is not taking part this time around). That heavenly, earthy smell when a gentle rain finally falls on the hot, dry and dusty earth. Showing off your tan in the city.

The “squish, squish” sound your flip-flops make after wading through water in them. Tapping the lazy rhythm of a reggae tune with your feet while lying on your deckchair. Sunscreen that makes your body smell of coconut from exotic places all day long. A warm breeze through your loose hanging hair. Kicking off those pinching shoes, and walking barefoot across the cool stone floor. The glorious feeling when after a day at the beach you rinse off the salty seawater under a lukewarm shower.

Finally being able to wear that golden pareo with matching flip-flops. Wearing a flamboyant summer hat. Eating outside every day. Feeling more energetic. Taking a nice bike ride after work. Sitting in an outdoor cafe during your lunch break. Fanning yourself with a magazine. Waking up very early in the morning to the ceaseless twittering of little birds. The ‘tsshhhh’-sound that an ice-cold can of Coke makes when it’s opened. Going down to the camp site with the whole crowd and having a good time. Trying to cool off in a forest or swimming pool.

But also an ice cream that starts to melt before you’ve even started eating it. Keeping the screen doors closed and still have flies in your house. Not being able to keep your eyes open in the fierce glare of the sun reflecting off the water. A steering wheel that is too hot to touch. Swollen feet at the end of a long, hot day. Keeping the blinds closed all day because the burning sun is beating down mercilessly on the windows.

Squashing that miserable mosquito on your bedroom wall. Sand too hot to walk on. Getting stung by a wasp. Not being able to keep down the rampant weeds. Having to water the garden every night. Men in shorts and white socks in sandals.

Sweat that blends with sun cream and runs into your eyes, which makes them sting. Your hair sticking to your head in awkward wisps after a refreshing dip. Arriving back in your hotel room after that first day at the beach to discover that you’ve changed into a red-and-white striped zebra. Your shades which are soon covered in greasy fingerprints.

The misery of having to put sun cream on every square centimetre of your skin again and again, hindered by the straps, strings and eyelets of your bikini. Getting sand-blasted by the Mistral wind at the beach in the south of France. Cold shivers due to sunburn. Finding out after a swim that, despite your waterproof mascara, you’ve still changed into a ring-tailed lemur.

Summer’s here at last.

© Pascale Bruinen