Monday, May 21, 2018

Reconciling with Summer

Every year I forget how busy Summer gets. Not a busy of business; it's a busy of doing, of enjoying. It's a time when people get together and you stay up way too late laughing and catching up. We live 25 minutes from the beach. People will be coming to stay with us for the next three months.

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.

I can't do anything about the work load at my day job. It gets hectic during the last two weeks of each month. No bother; I just have to make sure I plan my time accordingly so I'm not frantically printing sales tags the last Friday of May. Aside from that, however, there's a stillness that comes with the Summer haze and it's one that I'm going to enjoy.

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.

Friends are freer to travel and they'll sleep on our couches. We'll stay up late drinking coffee and tea and chatting about everything from books recently read to current affairs. Family will swing by and stay a few days. We'll drive out to the beach, walk until nightfall. We'll eat at our favorite restaurants and cook favorite meals to share. Friends in town will have cookouts and bonfires and cocktails and we'll sit up laughing until our throats are sore and our eyelids refuse to stay open any longer.

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 gather mimosa blossoms to turn into tincture which will uplift our hearts and minds during the Winter season. It's a long way off right now, but we know intuitively that the time to gather is now, the time to prepare is now.

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.


8 comments:

  1. When we were kids, those three months felt like three years. Now it feels like a three day weekend.

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    1. Doesn't it, though? And then sometimes you have a weekend out of town and it seems like it never ends. We were out of town this past weekend and I seriously felt like I was gone for a week! Why can't that happen when I'm on vacation???

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  2. Summer is busy work for me with a release, a book event, and usually a few client edits. I need to get out and have more fun, though. I need a beach day!

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    1. Even just going outside and sitting in the sun for a few minutes helps me! I tend to get happily lost in research-land and have to remind myself to get outside and breathe!

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  3. Enjoy your summer we have local plans and that's fine with us. Long weekend getaways work and don't cost a lot of money.

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    1. We're planning the same. Hopefully we can go somewhere further away next year, but for this year, it's the local beaches and a drive down the Florida in June. Happy Summer!

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  4. I like the change of pace in summer, and of course, the warmer weather. People take the time for each other, and that's the best.

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    1. I agree 100%! I love how things seem to slow down and people are more interested in getting together, hanging out, visiting and chatting and aren't so concerned with pursing something. LOVE the warmth!

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