My Summer

The glorious breeze of sweet summer relief has blown over, the waves have washed clean the shores of dream- paving way back to reality. Summertime is over, and the school year has begun. ‘Tis the time of prolonged cries of, “Not again,” and “I really don’t want to do this.” Now is the time when reality replaces glossy-dewy-eyed carelessness with thick fog of responsibility. However, I’m left with the memories of summer rocking me gently on the hammock of bliss into a slumber of peace. My summer was quite mundane, I replaced my assignments with errands and classes with work - falling into a monotonous pattern of routine. Despite my unwillingness to venture down the rabbit hole of summer fun in due to the heft of debt, I was able to vacation for a couple of weeks in Lebanon. I was submerged in a sea of family and solace. The words to come shall bring to life my summer days.

First and foremost, my trip began as any would- with travel. I was required to take a bus and 2 planes, after adding layover time I had traveled for an even 24 hours. Subsequently, I arrived with bruises of jetlag and deep scars gushing exhaustion. Despite the tiredness running deep through my bones, I was miraculously healed with the tensor bandage of family. Their warm and welcoming embrace shun prostration to the far corners of my mind,  flooding me with energy of excitement and content. I was home - not in the literal sense, for I had traveled overseas and continents - but rather in the emotional sense of the word - home: being surrounded with ones of reciprocated love. 

I stayed with my grandmother, but her house was never emptied of bodies. My 10 aunts and uncles, each having had a minimum of 3 children, and my cousins giving life to their own kept a consistent and constant stream of visits. When gathered - split into 4 rooms - obviously we’re a huge family. We would banter, exchange stories, share memories whilst smoking shisha, and eating what I deem the richest food. We would talk until the sun literally came up with the silent buzz of hushing coming from parents rooms. We would have spontaneous dance parties that ended with cousins sprawled on floors clutching our stomachs to stop the ache of laughter. We would turn the kitchen a mess with lame attempts of cooking at 3 am, and drive our neighbours mad with our inability to keep our mouths shut. Our adventures were taken to the road with camping and beach trips. Here, our tents were rendered useless in response to our incessant need to chat all night, play cards with the rise of the sun and smoke shisha till our lungs collapsed. This made our next day rafting experience excruciatingly painful- for our muscles ached with bombs of laughter waiting to be expelled and words that had been left unsaid.

Despite these confessions, our rafting trip was unforgettable. We sang on our raft and once again bantered till our instructors ears bled. We paused our brute force of paddle to dive into the shocking cold of refreshing river water. We waved at passers-by, and took endless photos. We survived an attack of folly whence we paddled in the wrong direction sending our raft hurtling towards a waterfall of destruction - forcing the strong-arms of the group to pull against the current to get us back to safety. After a couple of attempts, we managed to survive - which then prompted our unstoppable hyena cackle of “we f**ked up, but oh well we have a story to tell.” Thereafter treading back to the campsite we finished off the day with warm showers, comfort food, and the sun kiss of tan and joy. 

I have never laughed harder, talked louder, and felt more alive than I did in the 2 weeks spent abroad. I grew attached to the cousins I had spared no second thought to, and to the home I did not admit to. The memories made were unforgettable and irreplaceable- thenceforth teaching me the truity in the gravity of kin and bonds of blood. For my sea of family I am grateful and the time spent in awe. The end of my trip was physical, for- emotionally and mentally in Lebanon I proceed to exist.