The Monsoon Swoon


We’re in the middle of what I call "The Monsoon Swoon."  It is a literal and proverbial time of the year when life can feel a bit blasé.  Work is hopping as I try to get a couple of Americans out of the country.  However, our home life during the past couple of weeks seems to reflect the persistent monsoon season—it feels methodical, cyclical, and steady.  I don’t mean that life is depressing or melancholy; rather, it feels a bit meandering.  We are like branches and twigs floating in a steadily flowing river known as life.  Activities pass us by like debris, and tasks descend upon us like rivulets of water.  Life feels common and uneventful, yet always somewhat hectic as it pulls us along.  Above the busy undercurrents of life floats a persistent sameness.  All the while, interesting, enticing scenery surrounds us.  Such is life, ever progressing, oft restless, sometimes turbulent, and sometimes calm.

The Monsoon Swoon is a time when one anticipates the future while trying to enjoy the present, sobered by nostalgia for the recent past when life felt a lot more eventful.  In the U.S., this is a time one might describe as the "dog days of summer." In Korea, this time of the year might be more aptly described as the "raining cats and dogs days of summer."  It is a time when one wistfully looks forward to the day when the rain stops and the sweltering heat begins.  It’s a time when you might dare to look forward to the gorgeous fall season—until you realize that if it were fall, then the unforgiving winter would be fast approaching.

Although it rained today, the monsoon season this year has been drier than expected. The weather has been muggy but bearably cool.  Yesterday, the lawn dried out enough for me to mow, and I harvested the lush, grassy field.  My son and I headed to the pool again on Sunday so he could continue to learn how to swim.  I’m so proud of him.  He grabbed hold of a buoy, and I let him go and watched him kick his feet, propelling his body slightly forward. The buoy and life preserver kept him afloat. I returned the audio accessory I bought to fix the sound problem I’m having with the VCR I bought, and I resigned myself to return it to the e-tailer and buy a new VCR.  My family went back to Costco to buy a beautiful set of china my wife eyed during our last visit. On Saturday, I put in some overtime, and in the evening we joined our neighbors in Itaewon for dinner. We also visited a second-hand store, where my wife loaded up on a handful toys for my son. It was an incredible deal, but I have decided that second-hand stores are not my cup of tea.  All of these activities kept us busy over the past couple of days, and I enjoyed them.  Still, like the monsoon season, they were all familiar and cyclical.  They are all common diversions from “The Monsoon Swoon.”

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