Where I live, summer’s keynote is abundance. The forests fill with undergrowth, the trees with fruit, the meadows with wild flowers and grasses, the fields with wheat and corn, the gardens with zucchini, and the yards with weeds…
Summer is the season when all the promissory notes of autumn and winter and spring come due, and each year the debts are repaid with compound interest. In summer it is hard to remember that we had ever doubted the natural process, had ever ceded death the last word, had ever lost faith in the powers of new life. Summer is a reminder that our faith is not nearly as strong as the things we profess to have faith in–a reminder that, for this single season at least, we might cease our anxious machinations and give ourselves to the abiding and abundant grace of our common life.
– an excerpt from Summer’s Abundant Community, an essay by Parker Palmer *
These last 15 months of semi-hibernation have left many of us tender and traumatized. Though I count myself among the oh-so-blessed to have made it through this time unscathed, it still feels scary to peer up out of the safety of my dark, cozy cave and consider, tentatively, if it’s okay to climb out.
That said, the first day of summer just arrived (my very favorite time of year) and for those of us in the Northeast who appreciate this season, these next few weeks will fly by waaaay too quickly. Too quickly not to embrace every minute of it.
All the things we love, we love the more for their brevity and impermanence. This life. Our beloveds. Our youth. A too-short vacation. A good nap. A delicious bowl of ice cream. Likewise, these precious days of summer. May we savor them with gusto.
To appreciate these days before they’re gone try writing a love letter to the season. Mine is too long to share the whole thing, but here are the top ten reasons I love summer…
- The touch and smell of warm sun on skin.
- You want to go, you go. No socks, boots, coats, hats, gloves.
- Color, color, color!
- Long days, spacious evenings.
- The inherited permission, left over from childhood, to be less productive.
- Drinks on deck or dock to savor end of day.
- Life lived out of doors.
- Constant and all-surrounding evidence of Life.
- Bird song at 4:45 am.
- Everything. Because, frankly, everything is better in summer.
Enjoy the season. I will do the same.
(From the woods of New Hampshire on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, where I have officially begun my week of semi-vacation and will, therefore, be doing very little.)
* Read the entire essay here.