Snapshots of a Summer in the South
I recently learned that New Orleans is called “The Big Easy,” a nickname that didn’t catch on until the ‘70s when a local newspaper writer used it to compare the easy-going lifestyle of Louisiana to the hurried pace of New York City. And if that isn’t a metaphor for my summer in the south.
It’s doubly meaningful for me because I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker. And I now live in Seoul where sometimes the pace is even more hurried (which New Yorkers would scoff at, but anyone who’s experienced or even witnessed a transfer to the Line 2 during rush hour knows). And I’ve never lived in the south, but my family ended up down here and I’m here for the summer. So it’s been a change of pace, and one that’s put me at odds with myself.
Ironically, it’s been a bit of a culture shock to come from Seoul to the south—the 빨리빨리 lifestyle that induces all the anxiety and that I could never truly acclimate to there is something I almost have to temper and moderate in myself here. But it’s been a good and necessary thing for me to embrace the slowness. I had set some lofty goals for this summer, as I do every summer, but, as it’s easy to do in the summer, I seem to have forgotten what goals even are. It’s grounding to pare down all your goals and plans and remember what matters most. For me, that’s being present and spending quality time with my loved ones.
Here are some snapshots of me doing just that!
Above: Southern-style biscuits for family brunch at an interesting greenhouse recommended by my sister.
Below: Another new favorite, crepe myrtles blooming throughout New Orleans, one of my favorite cities to visit.
Whether you have extended time off to enjoy this summer or only spare moments, I hope this inspires you to luxuriate in slowness—as simple as the quiet when first waking up in the morning, sipping your daily beverage of choice, a skincare routine at the end of the day, or slipping into a cozy pajama set and reading or journaling before bed.