June to August is the summer season in France. Based on my observation, it’s the only period when the weather feels as warm as most months in Manila. For the first time this year, I used my yellow fan in the office, a souvenir from an event I attended during my first year here. We even have to keep the electric fan on all throughout the day since opening the big window isn’t enough to cool down the temperature.
Having come from a tropical country, I love the sun. But France’s weather, which I think can be simply described as varying levels of coolness, spoiled me a bit such that walking for a half an hour around 1p.m. last Sunday and going out for a few minutes around 3p.m. today gave me a slight headache.
I recall that as a child, the summer months in the Philippines, April to May, are times for almost daily visits to the beach, which was easy then for me and my siblings because we lived in a coastal town in Albay. The beach was magnificent–never-ending shoreline, towering palm trees, soft sand, cute nipa huts by the beach, and the magnificent view of the Mayon Volcano. It’s also the time for abundance of watermelons, pineapples and buco (young coconut). Halo-halo too! We had many coconut trees in our backyard and the freshly-picked buco has this perfect cool-sweet taste and the coconut flesh, so tender and fresh. (I have tried a few commercial coconut water products available in grocery stores in Paris but nothing comes close to the taste so I just stopped buying already.) Summer is also vacation time for kids, when I played a lot, spent a lot of time outdoors runnning and flying kites, and got my already kayumanggi skin even browner.
My summers got busier with each passing year. I had organization events and trainings in high school, then classes and part-time jobs in college. Then when I started working, summer became no different from other months because of work and more work. The schedule even got crazier because summer is the time for review classes, catching up on academic requirements and more activities.
But still, summer is summer. It evokes feelings of being and having a free spirit. It evokes fun and a carefree attitude. Here in Paris, there’s a profusion of the delicate coquelicots and of flamboyant roses everywhere in all colors. I don’t know why I didn’t notice the roses much in the city before except when I visited Parc de Bagatelle in 2018.
L-R clockwise: Happy to visit Parc Monceau again after more than a year; Roses in bloom in a Paris park; Look at that lone yellow rose amidst pink and red blooms; A quick pose after work beside a wall adorned with delicate pink roses; A view of the Eiffel tower with a red coquelicot, from Jardins du Trocadero; Welcoming my lovely office visitor, a harbinger of summer.
Also, the music festival is coming up. The health scare related to the pandemic is getting less, and soon, we can go around in Paris without wearing masks. More and more people are spending time in sidewalk cafes, in parks, along the Seine River, and the sun’s rays are reaching more hidden corners.
Summer has come indeed! ❤