I’ve established some time ago that when it comes to enjoying the world outside, under regular circumstances, Summer trumps Winters, and my Summer Home in the countryside trumps my home-for-the-rest-of-the-year in the city. This should be self-explanatory. But there is a catch, you see.
I live in Poland, which is, you know it’s there. The climate here isn’t as harsh as the stereotypes explain I’ve come to notice, but it isn’t Hawaii either. It gets warmer around late March, proper Summer factually starts around mid-June, and the Autumn begins with October. The Winters are the worst and the most unpredictable. Sometimes, we don’t see snow until January, which is great, and even then only traces amounts of it, which is ecstatic, but sometimes blizzards hit us in November.
But I have my own way of categorizing whether it’s the Summer-part of the year or the Winter-part of the year. I’m not sure if I mentioned it anywhere before.
There was a time when I honestly believed that the needs of love and belonging are unreasonably high on the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I understood the need of love to the extent that I could, as having the privilege of being raised by a loving family, I only truly understood the value of their care and support later on, when I was confronted by realities other than the only one that I was familiar with. But need to “belong” always contradicted my honest and dare I say still not irrational view, that it’s better to be true to yourself than seek acceptance by compromising. I hoped that in time, I will naturally learn how to connect these two “concepts”, but unfortunately, it only became more difficult to understand.
I am not, and I have never been an outcast or a hermit. I’m not anti-social and I don’t live in a constant state of anxiety. Finally, I wouldn’t even consider myself a loner, at least not anymore. I have a small but a reliable group of good friends, with whom I spend a great time, which comes truly effortlessly. But undoubtedly, I am an introvert. I have discussed solitude before, I have explained why I prefer to do some things alone, and at all times, I tried to emphasize that while introverted, I enjoy a company. A good company. But I have also never hidden the fact, that ultimately, I only feel completely comfortable when I’m alone. Not because of what I can do when I’m alone and can’t do when I’m in a company, but because of what I don’t have to do.
I’ve been very vocal about the inferiority of the wheat fields to the corn fields, but let me tell you, however wonderful the October might be, eventually, and usually, sooner than you expected, you start missing every single Summer-exclusive thing, including the once dreaded wheat fields. Fortunately, being the genius I am, I predicted that my heart will long for the sight of the golden sea, and prepared myself for that eventuality properly. Photos are taken, memories cataloged and stored safely, and at last, music recorded and posted on Soundcloud.
Looking back, I think I might have been a little too harsh on the wheat, barley and whatever else looks like these two. I mean sure, cornfields will always be cornfields, but when I think “Summer”, I think green, light blue and yellow. Green for the leaves on the trees, which in my mind are the one thing that determines in which of the two recognizable seasons: Winter-ish or Summer-ish, we are right now. Light blue for the sky dozed with a tiny amount of white, fluffy clouds. And yellow, for the golden fields bathed in the bright sun.
Every October that I can recall had these couple of really warm days around three/four weeks in. This one is no different, which has inspired me to make this little track, which might I say, I consider to be one of better ones in terms of conveying emotions I wanted to express.
Unfortunately, this year I’m stuck in a big city for October, so I can’t use those days to the fullest. But, when life gives you lemons, right? The spare time that I couldn’t spend on biking I spent on making this track right there.
Small Town Octobers are great, let me tell ya. The nostalgia after the Summer is usually done and dealt with by the end of September, which, by the way, has the unpleasant, unfortunate role of being the sadsack of the year by introducing us to often sudden temperature drop, as the Holidays end and Fall is just around the corner. Personally, I don’t mind September that much, but the problem that I do have with it is that it’s neither Summer anymore, nor is it just yet Autumn.
Living in my home-for-the-rest-of-the-year for past two weeks now, I’ve become somewhat desperate to find places in this big city that would give me any sense of… not being in a city. It’s bloody hard to get out of here without a car, so the best I can do if take nice long walks through parks, of which there is plenty. There’s one in particular that I like.
But first, it just happened to be Friday the 13th today, when I’m posting this song, for which I meant to be creepy, mysterious, and unsettling in a way. It’s just a lucky coincidence, that’s all.
So, the park. For starters, it has an irregular shape, with a lot of cuts and bends, and it sort of “twists” in one place too. What I want to say, is that it’s really freaking easy to get lost in that park. Not necessarily get stuck in there unable to find a way out, but if you spend there some time and you finally walk out, there’s at least eighty percent chance that you end up not on the side of the park you thought you’re going towards.
I’m a little feverish tonight, which is a great opportunity to do some writing like that. And it is an interesting topic, isn’t it? I knew that before I started thinking about it, but I discovered that in fact, it’s not just fun, but in a way, troubling too. My kind of topic.
Obviously, there are two ways to look at this question, and because of that, there are two categories of answers. The first one is the personal approach. Having someone close to you who passed away or is otherwise unavailable, someone you felt a close connection to or imagine you would have one. The emotional choice.
And then there is the seemingly creative approach. Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Jesus Christ, you know, the greatest hits. Someone famous, exciting, maybe a bit mysterious, preferably a pop culture icon. Having the entire history of humanity to choose from doesn’t seem to inspire enough, though, and the choices don’t seem to vary that much in the end. While it’s idiotic not to admit that a dinner with Elvis would be freaking awesome, and given the opportunity I would be an idiot not to go for it, but I imagine there’s only so much I could ask him about. A one-time event and that’s it. Jesus seems like a more intriguing choice, with potentially life, if not world-changing consequences, but it’s impossible to do it without certain expectations, and it’s highly unlikely to learn something we don’t already know. What I mean, is that if you believe in God, you feel like a bigger or smaller part of His plan, there’s nothing new you would learn from Jesus, would you? And if you don’t, and you would happen to be right, you’ll take nothing from the dinner, and if you’re wrong, you have to assume that meeting Jesus wasn’t the only way God would have you converted. You see what I mean. If you’re meeting someone having some expectations of the meeting, your experience won’t be… “full”.
I’m made for living in the countryside, I think I have made that clear by now. I didn’t truly realize that until I actually moved to the countryside from a small city that I was born in, but ever since then, I can’t imagine myself spending any more time in the city than it’s absolutely necessary. Unless things somewhere along the way get terribly wrong, once I’m done with this city business, I’ll move to live out the rest of my days in a solitary house, in some village far enough from the city and all the commotion that I will be able to see the stars in the night-time sky in all their power and might. This has been my plan for years, and while at no point did it even begin to change, there are moments when the vision of one day settling down in the countryside for good is what keeps me going. Moments like now, when after the summer of living in the middle of nowhere, I moved back into a city.
I’m not antisocial, not a recluse or a hermit by nature, in fact, I love spending time with friends and I do it as often as I do it happily. And it’s not that I despise cities by definition, or can’t enjoy the many benefits that cities undoubtedly have. But when it comes to living, as in “dwelling”, a having a place to reside in, countryside just can’t be beaten.
This entire year feels… “rainier”. In itself, it’s not a complaint, though. Although I did complain about June being ridiculously wet, but that’s because Junes shouldn’t be wet like that. As in, it could rain all year, but June, July, and August are summertime, they’re for something else. So when September came, I immediately turned my Autumn mode on, because while I love Septembers, for this one, secretly, I didn’t hold much hope. Boy, was I mistaken…
There was no chance I would abandon biking just because of some bad weather, of course not. It would have to be a disaster, this September, to prevent me from hitting the road like I did the entire Summer. But admittedly, the nature of those rides was different. I was saying “goodbye” to my Summer Home. The woods, the lakes, the hills, all that I will soon leave, when I’ll move back to my “home for the rest of the year”.
A song whose original version was created six years ago, but which gets very relevant every year around September, and so I believe it deserved some improvements and fresh composition. Here it is:
Days are getting colder, the weather gets wetter week after week. For me, September means two things: Summer is almost over, and it’s time to switch homes. Every year the same story: after three wonderful months among the fields, lakes, woods and green hills of my Summer Home, the time has come to move back to my home-for-the-rest-of-the-year, the city.