For summer

I want to bottle this green smell of summer. Fresh and ripe, with possibilities maybe. Pollen and tiny yellow flowers that we trample, sweat and the moist air, the harsh light that sometimes makes way for unexpected rain, and the darkness that makes everything clean. I smelt it again, after many years away. It took me back to when we had the yellow of the street lights for company, when we were unaware we didn’t have much else. A drop fell, on our palms and thighs, on the leaves beside us, into the soil beneath us. The dust settled as more drops fell. We willed the rain to stop. We thought the night-time world belonged to us, as we wandered from street to street. We weren’t lost, we were finding each other.

There was a dream that hovered. Behind my shoulder, above my head, in my heart, always a little out of reach. One day, I held it in my hand. It was lighter than I imagined, it fluttered, it was alive. It made my chest ache and it set me free.

I am curious about happiness. Is it contentment, is it finding out that the hurt of the past suddenly feels far away? You remember its outlines, but the ache is dull. You allow yourself to pierce and pick at the scab. The resentment seems to be making a graceful exit, but you do not want to let go of it all, because you do not yet know who you are without it. But there is joy to be discovered, on other summer nights like these, when we realise that the sadness sometimes creeps away without us noticing. The night whispers to us ancient stories of love and longing, watching us as we write our own story, calling the fireflies to witness.

The night is infinite and wise, she said to me she knew I would be back to bottle the heady smell of summer.

This short prose was published in the Summer 2017 issue of Panoply, a literary zine. You read it here first! Do take a look at all the other prose and poems that have been published.


11 thoughts on “For summer

  1. Anusha – Wonderfully written. I especially liked the penultimate paragraph on happiness and contentment.

    In “Option B” (the book that I recommended to you recently) I came across this quote – “Part of misery is misery’s shadow, the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer.” During setbacks or times of grief, I have fallen prey to generous doses of self-pity in the past. But in the past 3-4 years, I genuinely feel like I have been a lot more centered. In this period, I have suffered two significant losses – my mentor and my Aunt. But my own experience of recovering from the losses has taught me quite a few lessons. (I had mentioned this even in my comment on your “mining the loss” write-up.)

    Part of the inspiration for the quest for stability comes from within. But it is also due to exposure to people that are able to maintain an even keel no matter what the circumstances are. They are the ones that find peace of mind even when the going is not good. They are the ones that find true, deep, abiding happiness when circumstances are in their favor. As another quote from “Option B” summed it up, ““The measure of who we are is how we react to something that doesn’t go our way.” So simple. So true.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I liked the gifts write-up too. But this one, to me, was truly masterful. This write-up had the element that I love about your writing – the ability to start off by zoning in on something specific, something small and in a totally seamless, apparently effortless way, switch to a heavy-duty theme such as happiness / contentment.

        Re: Option B, no problem at all! I just thought that you might like that book, that’s all. I found it moving and illuminating.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad I discovered your blog! The way you write, the words you use, this font, ugh everything makes me want to read on and on. Please keep writing, looking forward to watch this blog grow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s