One of my most vivid summer memories is returning from a day at the beach in my sun kissed, sandy, salt-water skin. With wet togs, slippery jandals and ankles that itched from my long-grassy walk back to the bach, I’d rinse off the salt-water marks with the hose. A hush would come over our camp as we all found a favourite sunny spot to curl up like cats and snooze. In my warm little caravan, the dulcet tones of my favourite band, Mazzy Star, played and their hypnotic single “Fade in to you” became my organic soundtrack to sleep.
I love the way music evokes emotional, vivid wanderings down memory lane. Without us realizing, music has been playing a leading role in preserving our life moments since we were teeny. It comes as no surprise that our brains are hard-wired to connect music with our long-term making of memories; how lucky are we to have such a gift?
With this gift in mind, every year as summer approaches I make a special ‘mixed tape’, a playlist. I call it The Summer Sundowner. With headphones on and the silence of an evening I put this little memory trigger together. As I buy the tracks, I lovingly put them in an order to ensure the album is an experience and not just a bunch of songs thrown together. It’s important; after all, this will be the quintessential soundtrack for my summer to come.
The Summer Sundowner is my way of ensuring my summer memories are preserved. This little gem is my musical photo album; it can transport me back to that summer, those moments, those faces and that feeling, simply by listening to a song.
I have an inspiring friend with a collection of photo albums worthy of a gallery. They are full to bursting with beautiful retrospection, each page an intimate throwback to that moment in time. I am in awe of how committed she is to this preservation and filling these albums, so much so that it has become part of her daily routine, for years. But for many of us, even though we have good intentions to do the same thing, the photos we’ve printed often gather dust in a hallway cupboard. Or, more often, we rely on our social media feed to be our curator.
So, my yearly ‘mixed tape’ is my constant commitment to preserving memories. I hope to always do it. If I do, It means that on any given day, I can reconnect to my warm summer evenings, dancing in the dark, new year road trips, cave drumming, festival freedom, moonlit ramblings, itchy ankles and corn on the cob.
So, what will be your soundtrack to summer? I’ve already started mine.