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  • Liz Totton

The Magic of Summer


Firefly in Hand


There’s something truly magical about summer. Even though some days are sweltering and really uncomfortable, there are always days and evenings with beautiful light, vibrant sunsets, lush trees and grass, blooming flowers, chasing fireflies, evenings filled with the euphonious sound of falling rain and refreshing breezes after the thunder storm. Can you feel my Magic of Summer, friends? I always enjoy following my friend’s Facebook streams in the summertime. The friends that I have made in Abu Dhabi are from all over the globe, and everyone is posting pictures of their travels. In looking at their photos I feel like I’m peeking into a window of their lives and the places they visit vicariously.

Rain Drops Falling on Our Heads


As I am wrap up my own summer travels today, namely my visit home to the USA, I just want to thank all my friends on both the east and west coasts who made our visit so special. We had loads of fun. I have long wanted my kids to understand what my childhood summers were like in New Jersey—it was so different to the childhood that they had on the west coast. For a few weeks, they lived a quintessential east coast summer filled with long days at the pool, swimming and diving off the diving boards, playing poolside cards with friends, lazily rolling in the deep green grass, catching fireflies at dusk, thunderstorms and rain—sweet, sweet rain—something we sorely miss in Abu Dhabi.

Leaving on a Jet Plane


Still, I am happy to return “home,” the most appropriate moniker for Abu Dhabi now, given we made it there a whole year–despite all the odds. As I continuously wrestle with this notion of “home.” For now, I will have to accept that wherever we are is “home,” as 5 out of 10 people advise me. I will probably never cease to struggle with the idea of my “home” being so momentary. Even though, I consider myself nomadic, I relish the idea that I have a “home” on terra firma to which I can return; I just do not want to own it. Abu Dhabi cannot be that kind of “home,” ever. We live there absolutely in the service of a corporation, implicitly at the pleasure of a monarch. It can all be taken away from us as suddenly as we may determine it is no longer home to us. But, for now, Abu Dhabi is home, and, to it, we return. I am not too excited to get back to a world without Costco, Trader Joes, discount shops and sales. I am dually NOT excited to return to the sweltering heat. Honestly, the 90s (mid 30s Celcius?!) have never felt so refreshing as they have these past few weeks. I am surprisingly excited to get back to the lawless roads of the UAE. Unknowingly, I have become quite a road cowgirl. Speed limits are for law-abiding Americans, and road rage is surprisingly cathartic. Anyway, four weeks is a long for our family to be apart. I know distance and separation works quite well for many of my friends overseas during the summer, but I have never been a big fan of it for my family. We leave on a jet plane this evening. In this senseless world of disappearing planes and persistent conflict, please wish us safe travels. What I wouldn’t give to land in Abu Dhabi, turn on the news to find all the world’s conflicts resolved, flights found, sorries said; in short, a more evolved species committed to peace. That would truly be the magic of summer. 

#thunderstorms #summertravel #Pacificnorthwest #Expatkids #TradderJoes #childhood #AbuDhabi #WholeFoods #rain #bioluminescence #Eastcoastsummer #Costco #NewJersey #ShoppingintheUSA #fireflies

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