Monday, May 21, 2018
Reconciling with Summer
I try not to plan too much work during the Summer. Writing takes a back seat. That novel I finished? Still haven't done that final read-through. The past two weekends have seen us out of town: once at the beach to spend time with my Mom on Mother's Day and this past weekend for my oldest nephew's high school graduation.
Like many of you, when I was a kid, Summer meant three months of nothing but freedom. School was out and the days were long. We ran barefoot in clover and dandelions. We swam lazily in the backyard pool and played in puddles when it rained. We swept the front porch of our play house pretending we lived in a magical wood beneath the shade of those old, Georgia pines. Those days were endless yet they were suddenly swept away - poof! - when September came. For years I've lamented the loss of Summer Vacation but I'm slowly realizing it's still here, in essence, if I'm willing to sit back, sip slowly, and savor the warmth and wandering that comes with taking each day with a smile and the wonder that the world is still a magical place.
Summer is still a time of freedom, even without the magic of three months of nothing. It's still a time of wonder, even with jobs and responsibilities. Plants are blooming and herbs are harvested at the peak of their medicinal strengths. The Farmer's Market burgeons with the fruits and vegetables, meats and breads of the labors of months of tireless effort. And we sit outside longer after dinner; we make mojitos and listen to jazz. We spend Sunday mornings in the courtyard, watching the lizards flit about in the vines.
We are still connected to the Earth. We are still tied to her rhythms. Modern life cannot drive it away fully. If we are willing to listen, willing to step outside barefoot in the lane, we can still feel her pulling us towards primal ways of life. The current of Summer runs warm between our toes whether we live on dirt, sand, or pavement. The breath of life blows through trees and wanders about marshlands and we, if paying attention, inhale deeply and let it rush through each cell. It carries a message that says, "Slow down. No really. You can take it easier." It's the primal need for rest: rest after the long, dark of winter, the temperamental Spring and before the coming of the business of harvest before we settle again into the cold to come.
I hope you have wonderful plans for the Summer. I hope you have set aside some time to breathe and to listen and to be. I hope you'll be traveling to visit friends and family and far flung places; or I hope you are the far flung place at which others gather. Here's to long days, warm nights, and conversations lasting until 2. Here's to good food and friends and the moments we can forget that we are responsible adults and relish in the magic that is Summer.
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