In a place like Singapore, it might be hard to even begin a discourse on what makes a good spot for enjoying the sun. Most of us spend our lunches dodging the heat, choosing establishments depending on whether there is air-conditioning.
Perhaps it is the lack of seasons that breeds this absence of appreciation for sun. This inability need not be labelled ingratitude for what nature has. I am fairly certain that after a week’s holiday in freezing Hakodate, a fellow Singaporean would be happy for some sun. I suppose this lack of appreciation must be testament to man’s natural powers of adaptation. If I were to miss the cold weather too much, it would make my daily existence in a tropical clime that much more unbearable.
So, what makes a spot the perfect place to enjoy a bit of sun in Singapore?
Having recently fallen in love with how light falls across my balcony at different times of the day, I think I have a fair idea about how to handle this. When we first moved in, the balcony was simply an unused space. Sometimes I stood at the door to the balcony, breathing in the smell of trees and rain, smiling when the breeze started. Then I decided to have more plants in the balcony. We placed a pair of slippers at the balcony so we could feel free about wandering “out” there. When the housewarming was approaching, I spruced up the corner on the pretext of getting our place ready for our smoker friends.
There is now a folding chair, a cheap white stool, and a wooden stool that functions as a table. While you would of course have to regularly water the plants, it adds to the joy if you have a plant that you can easily observe growth thereof. The money plant is fun to watch; the fir stoically stares back each time I try to see if anything has changed.
I think that if I put up blinds in the balcony area, my experience would be perfect. While it might not be strictly necessary (especially if your balcony does not get that much sun), I think some form of control would be ideal. On that note, while it doesn’t quite bother me currently, I think that having a fan in the balcony should help. It does get too humid sometimes, here in Singapore.
There you go! Picture this: you are sitting in the balcony, kicking back some beer, and some sunlight peeks in from under the blinds. You can still see into the distance, under the lowered blinds. From time to time, a stiff breeze enters before it quickly leaves and leaves you reaching for your beer again.
For me, some time out in the balcony restores some sanity lost to the humdrum; the demands of the modern life; the modern man’s job. Some time out in the balcony allows my mind a moment’s rest, and in return for such rest, my mind sometimes grants me a good idea to work on, or a way out of something that I have been mulling over.
It is somewhat of a surprise that in the modern workplace, employers have not bothered to set up areas where employees can enjoy that perfect spot in the sun. Go down to Boat Quay, and see the number of shirted people enjoying their lunch by the river, having no regard for the sun. Maybe it is time to stop seeing the sun as something to run away from. Maybe it is time for us to take a moment to rest, to see if the mind rewards you with a spark of brilliance made with love from the breeze, a view, and a spot of sun.
[This post originally appeared on chasingjackets.org | write.]