Last night, June was born again. Lightning danced among the distant clouds and the evening sky turned from a pink, to an orange, to a deep cobalt blue. From under my oak trees and above my grass, fireflies illuminated my yard, rekindling my connection with summer. From the hush of my woods, frogs began to croak, crickets began to chirp and the fireflies’ light seemed to pulse in perfect harmony with those brethren among them. Without a doubt, no other season connects me closer to my youth and none is so magical as that of summer.
I don’t really know when nor by whom the decision to cut school from June, July and August was made. Nevertheless, it surely was a wise person that realized the lessons we could learn left to our own devices during that time would be far greater than any school teachings. When I look back on my childhood, it’s my summers that fill most of the spaces between synapses and among the recesses of my memory. Those memories are full of swimming pools, ice cream trucks, grass stains and an incredible sense of freedom and independence only afforded at that time of year. With idle time at our disposal, we set fourth among creek and wood to explore, conquer and discover the unknown. Among the neighborhood we roamed, with no certain place to go but always with purpose and mission. At night, we laid on our backs, wondering at the vastness of the stars and inspired by something far greater than ourselves. Summer was our mentor and we formed much of our self-awareness and our place in the world during those warm months.
Summer is essential to our soul.
These days, idle time has become a negative moniker, a thing to be filled with purpose and productivity. We schedule and over-schedule both our adult lives, and those of our children. We fear that without a demanding itinerary, we will be left behind and somehow lost in life’s pursuits. Even the summertime (set aside to reconnect to our world), is being overtaken by our events calendar. In the quest to further ourselves, our kids and our positions in life, many have lost that connection with idle time, with fireflies and the magic of summer.
Let summer be your guide.
This summer, allow some of your schedule to be filled by nothing. Pull up a front row seat to an incoming thunderstorm and count the seconds between the strikes and the booms. Search for the perfect swimming hole on a map and venture out to discover its waters and throw open your sleeping bags in the back yard at night and wait for a shooting star to awaken your spirit. The magic of summer is there for you to enjoy, to experience, and connect to.
What makes us happy in life is what has always been right in front of us. As humans, we have a peculiar way of ignoring the obvious and constructing the complicated. Let this summer remind you of what is most important in life; that of family, simplicity and the natural world around us. Take some time to be young again and wonder at all things magical summer will bring you.
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