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The Joys of Summer

Sitting in an outdoor cafe reveling in the beauty of warm summer day…I am aware of something deeper in me…something wanting expression. It is about the magic of summer and the child in me that comes alive as the temperature climbs above 80 degrees.

Have any of you been there? Have you felt yourself come alive as the temperature becomes warm and life takes on an ease and a charm that only happens when the season is summer?

scarfI am learning that, for me, summertime represents living life with more enjoyment…with a sense of abandonment of worry, stress and intensity. There seems to be more laughter in the air and a spirit of simplicity and playfulness. I notice I have more fun, spend more time with friends and enjoy moments of being childlike again. I am out of doors more often, go barefoot and enjoy a more lighthearted approach to the days and evenings.

With intent to fully comprehend how summertime impacts me – and hopefully you – I’ve made a list of the experiences I notice and what meaning the experiences hold for me. If you love summer days and notice a lifting of your own spirit, perhaps you’d be willing to reflect on what lessons these warm weather weeks hold for you. feel free to share your insights in the comments below.

My top thirteen summer revelations and the meaning each one holds:

  1. mindful-mommiesWarm temperatures requiring less clothing and effort: ease and freedom
  2. Cooling off in lakes, swimming pools or backyard sprinklers: feeling refreshed and calmed
  3. Children playing out of doors with laughter and exuberance: reconnection with the simple joys of childhood
  4. Parks with lush greenness and the scent of summer: communing with nature
  5. Flowers in gardens and window boxes: tending to the beauty of this world
  6. Bicycles: a sense of fresh air and joyful abandonment
  7. Long days where summer hangs in the air: having time for everything
  8. Travel opportunities: adventure, discovery and family time
  9. Colorful clothing and accessories: creativity and joy
  10. Lighter fare at mealtime: health, wellness and well-being
  11. Popsicle treats, fruity sorbet and lemonade: pure delight
  12. Eating out of doors at cafes, pubs and favorite spots: simple enjoyment of being out in the fresh air
  13. Meeting neighbors at the local lake, swimming pool or on park benches: forging friendships and fostering community

Ultimately, our love of summer and our anticipation of endless, dazzling days of sunshine, warmth and ease show us how much we all want freedom, joy, delight and a simpler life.Can you find time this month to enjoy the fresh, warm air and make time for summertime fun? What if you went outside and pretended it was the first time you’d ever been outdoors. Could you:

  • dandelionFeel: the warm air on your skin?
  • Hear: the symphony of birdsong?
  • Smell: the summer freshness in the air?
  • Enjoy: blowing bubbles? Running through the sprinkler? Lying in the grass, finding animal shapes in the clouds?
  • Notice: the green grass, bright blue sky, butterflies and flowers?

As F.Scott Fitzgerald says in The Great Gatsby, “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees…I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

And so, perhaps this is what summer is all about: beginning again; a chance to, once more, truly enjoy life and the pleasures of warm days and long evenings. Perhaps summer is an opportunity to hear children and remember and reconnect with our own inner child. To join others at outdoor cafes, ride a bike or return to nature for a much needed visit. To remember that life is good and days are sweet and that we can, for a time, allow ease and simplicity to be how we live and enjoyment of life to be how we navigate the warm, joyful moments of summertime.

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