Summer always seems to be a season everyone universally looks forward to. Plenty of fresh air, longer days, warm sunshine, family time, time off for vacations & travel, summer camp, picnics, fireworks, concerts and so much more that’s unique to each person. And of course how we spend time changes throughout the course of our lives. Here are some reflections of how it’s been for me and what it’s meant over the years.
First off, I’m a Summer baby (born in August). When I was younger, it was all about Summer vacation when school was out — we got rewarded for how many books we read over the Summer (I always won that contest!), my favorite ice cream flavor forever was (and still remains) black licorice, growing up surrounded by fruit orchards I could eat as many apricots as I could pick (and I did a lot of both), and given my mom was a college professor she had summers off too — so we took epic family vacations, road trips, and did fun staycations at home too. Going to our favorite local park with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, juicy peach pie and fresh cut watermelon was a great example of a fun low-key ’staycation’ day. Or going to fun local festivals with plenty of art, poetry, music, and people dancing & having a ball. And of course plenty of barbeques and time in the water whether at the lake, the beach or in a swimming pool.
Later I looked forward to summer school art and music classes where we made fun stuff like our own instruments and paper mache garbage cans out of ice cream buckets. We got paid to pick apples, pine cones and dry apricots. We made all manner of crafts from hooked rugs, to needlepoint pillows, to home-made candles, fruit leather and more.
And of course plenty of time spent at music concerts, drive-in movies, camping out with smores and star-gazing.
I guess this is all pretty typical for most people; it was simple fun and I really loved it. However, as an adult when I went through college, started working, got married, and had obligations things changed. I didn’t have any kids of my own but virtually all of my friends did which altered the landscape of summer get-togethers quite a bit as well. My own core (and even extended) family went in different directions geographically so it became more of an effort to connect.
I was just thinking about how much has changed from those simpler free and easy times to today. I still get out and enjoy Summer activities on my own and with friends — but now it’s limited to weekends (shared with chores) and to vacation getaway breaks. I want to slow time down and revel in more of those fun simple pleasures of Summer once again; like everything, it’s being mindful about how we choose to spend our ‘free time’ amidst our responsibilities.
What does Summer mean to you?
What were some of your favorite memories of this grand season from times past vs. how you’re spending this time today?
What can you do to weave some of those past pleasures into the present?
I’d love to know! Please be sure to leave a comment.