Travel teaches you more things than you can imagine. Here is a wonderful lesson to learn from European summers – shine in the moment!

I am brimming, I am beaming, and I am upbeat. Finally, the full-blown European summers are here. Could nature be better than this? Probably not. Picture yourself basking in the serene sun with the wind gently swaying your tousled hair in all directions, caressing it, petting it as a lover would touch the tresses of his sweetheart. Add to it, the unending lush green envelope around you with some dry leaves rustling when you lay your bare feet across them.

Or Imagine yourself living in a farm, waking up to sweet sparrows and humming birds chirping and toads croaking. The days spent underneath the trees and the evenings beside the lake. You can see it right? So can I, almost visually now, welcome to the European summers.

Back in India where summertime means being smothered by heat waves and immersed in your sweat, here the definition of summer is quite the contrary. The days seem unending and the nights well, the tiny nights; there is hardly any darkness for more than 4-5 hours. Summer holds even more relevance as it comes after the dark, dreaded, cold winters.

What I love about summer is not just the long days, the sun or the breeze. It’s the people, the attitude, the lifestyle, and the summer activities. Everybody lives their life to the fullest between May and August. Along with the youngsters flashing their bare midriffs and skimpy outfits, (they can afford to as they are so well toned from all the running, cycling, swimming and gym-training) we too have the respect and enthusiasm for the coming months.

Almost every day and night the streets are buzzing with concerts, karaokes or summer festivals. The special summer courses for swimming, salsa, yoga , tango, zumba ,pottery ,music ,cookery etc spring up and people enroll. It’s surprising how much weather can affect somebody’s routine and  way of life. People wait for about a year to join these courses and learn something useful or do something that drives them .

It’s surprising how much weather can affect somebody’s routine and  way of life

Apart from learning a new craft or hobby, people laze around and eat a lot! Soaking up the sun, swimming in the springs and the lakes, surfing, fishing and camping seems to be the ideal past time every other weekend. But that doesn’t stop them from working out at the gym to burn all the extra calories.

And for the elite class and the tourists there is even more. The paradox of Europe pitches rustic friendliness against high-tech urban efficiency. While the crude harmony of cowbells echoes in the velvet mountain pastures of the forests, digital screens tick off in the bustle of capitals and big cities. Europe is a haven of summer cottages, serious shopping, major music festivals, fabulous art collections, palace hotels, state-of-the-art spas, and some of the finest food in the world.

Make hay while the sun shines

Another food for thought is the numerous holidays that are there in these summer months. It’s almost an icing on the cake. People party hard as they know this is the time or they would soon be enveloped by dark days soon. Well, how does something uncertain in life, like weather, govern their lives so much? Anything that is scarce in life holds greater value anyway, and we tend to treasure and value it. So why not an underrated pleasure of life like weather?

What I have learnt from Europe is the simple way to love life. Literally, make hay while the sun shines. People bear the dark winters as they know that the summers that are about to come along are going to be worth the wait. It bears a simple analogy to life and our limited time here.

Life is momentary, like the beautiful summer. Like summer may sometimes carry with it strong winds and heavy rains, life can be not-so-pleasant sometimes. It can carry severe dark winters but we know that summer will follow soon after. Relish and embellish yourself with each and every moment.  Life is calling, hear it out and go to meet it!

Live Life by the lines:

Whether or not, the weather is fine, I will trudge along,

It may or may not be summer all the time, but it will turn out just fine

Pic credit: Katerha (Used under a CC license)