The Ocean
Rinko Kawauchi reflects on the long summers of her childhood

‘Every year, I was aware of a slight sense of longing’

by Rinko Kawauchi
Source: Financial Times, 18.7.2017

Irked by the blazing sunlight, I used to wish for summer to end quickly when I was young. Every year, though, entering the final days of summer vacation, I was aware of a slight sense of longing.

As I get older, summers seem to have grown shorter to me — now they are times I try to enjoy as much as possible.

Every time I go to the ocean, memories of days at the sea come back to me. When I go to see the summer fireworks, I am reminded of my family from days long past — their presence, the feeling of them around me.

I wonder why memories of summer always feel so vivid compared to those of other seasons. Perhaps it’s because of how lucidly one can see the breath of life — how the fireflies fly about, their lights flickering, how the cicadas rise from the earth, chirping through the entirety of their ephemeral lifespans.