This is the best part of summer for me, these days at its very beginning.
We can still feel the weight of the school year on our shoulders, but it is lifting. Both things are good, the weight and the lifting. It’s not a bad weight, but it is weight all the same, and without its heft the lifting would not be nearly as sweet.
The days are warm but not too warm. We can eat outside unmolested by bugs or bees. We can cook in the kitchen with sun streaming in and not feel too hot. We don’t have to button the house up tight every morning to keep the heat from entering.
We have what feel like endless days stretching ahead of us, so we’ve given ourselves permission to “waste” parts of these with slow walks, good books, meandering conversations, and mediocre movies (watched with good popcorn).
We can start projects and let them linger a bit, knowing we have time to get to them.
And everything is lush and blooming and vibrant, no hint yet of August’s inevitable fade.
As we passed the solstice last weekend, we took time with a good friend to think about what we want to bring in to our lives and what we want to let go of. (Just as we did at the winter solstice.) Although it seems paradoxical, summer is actually the season in which we turn to darkness, with each day now just a fraction shorter than the one that preceded it.
It can be a melancholy time for me, as summers were the best part of my childhood, filled with family and light. I miss those times and the people I shared them with.
For each of us at the solstice-gathering who have lived through many summers now, there is a desire to slow down. We want less time to do and more time to just be. We want to appreciate every second of this year’s remaining light in a way that we didn’t (and perhaps couldn’t) in earlier years, when we were building up our babies and careers.
For Cane and me, the last few summers have been times of much busy-ness. While we appreciate the many improvements we’ve made to our home because of it, we are consciously choosing to do less this year. We have some projects we definitely want to get to–and we will–but we’re moving slowly. In fact, our biggest project of the summer might well be the one of learning how to relax.
If we can do that, maybe all of our days can be as sweet as the ones we’re living right now.
We’d love to hear what your hopes for the coming season are. What would you like to let go of and what would you like to bring in?