August 11, 2012

From Beachside to Lakeside

Well, I just looked at my calendar and I see that there are only two weeks remaining until the students return to SUNY Stony Brook and classes are back in session. I do enjoy the whole Back-To-School aura, though it doesn't seem possible that summer recess is already winding down. 

It was only last week that I made my first trip to the beach for the season. If it is to be my only visit to Sunken Meadow State Park in 2012, it was definitely a good one. I waded in the warm water for about two hours, watching kites dancing on the breeze and seagulls rummaging through the shells. It felt great to simply sit at the edge of the sand and let the waves break over my legs and rinse away all of my worries. In the distance, I could make out the silhouettes of kayaks and sailboats as the din of some kids having a water fight played in my ears. It was a beautiful scene. I finished off the afternoon with a cotton candy ice pop on the boardwalk. Everything was right.

During the summer months, the Huntington Arts Council sponsors an entire series of free concerts at Heckscher Park. This park features a path that circumnavigates a lake with lots of fountains erupting from its surface. Next to the lake is a performance shell and an art museum. Last Friday, a performance took place on the steps of the art museum that caught my eye. It was a drum ensemble called the Druumatics. Playing instruments like the Djembe, Djun-Djun, and Congas, the lovely ladies of the Druumatics (and one guest gentleman) played through an evening of African dance rhythms that had my foot tapping. Through my own djembe playing, I was familiar with some of the rhythms such as the lively Yankady and Kuku. Many of the tunes had accompanying poems that were to be sung along. After the lyrics were taught, the combination of voices and drum beats gave the August evening an incredible pulse. Cheers!

"Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

~Psalm 51:10