I wouldn’t want to live in a world in which summer didn’t mean a change of pace and a break from the regular work schedule. So I married a teacher and vicariously live through him and his students as we all count down to summer break. I think life fits best in semester packed boxes. No matter how arduous the nine months of labor, there is a light at the end of the tunnel telling the student and the teacher and the teacher’s wife “if you keep pushing forward you will eventually find relief.”
It took months for winter to leave our little mountain town. The trees were lifeless for weeks past the day spring was said to arrive. Snow fell through April and into May. I bought my summer shorts and tank tops but they sat untouched for weeks beyond their intended date of use. Even now I leave in the morning with a jacket and put long pants on if I go out in the evening.
We woke up this morning, a Thursday morning, much later than we do during the school year. From my bed I saw lush green trees pressed up against a bright blue sky. The smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted into the bedroom. I let my eyes stay closed until they were ready to open. We lingered for a while before beginning out day.
Summer finally came.
I say I like all the seasons equally. But though I never would want to live in a place that didn’t have all four, I have a secret. Summer is really my favorite.
There’s a lot of talk about walking through hard circumstances. The valleys, the shadowy places, the days when things are dark and cold. The moments in life that a starkly barren and void of life.
Is there also something to be said for the bountiful days? The days that you open your eyes to blue sky and luscious trees? That you leave in morning lighthearted and returned with a sun kissed face? The days that are spent in green grass and splashing around in refreshing water?
We’re all here. We all turned our calendars to June yesterday. We’re all at the cusp of a new season, we’re all watching summer begin to unfold.
And maybe, even if the summer doesn’t looks as refreshing as you’d hoped, even if it holds more of the hard and less of the fun, maybe we could all use a refresher in the art of savoring.
Maybe this summer could be one that we savored.
Slow mornings, fresh fruit, pool sides and popsicles. Pink noses, the smell of sunscreen, bright sunshine and lingering daylight. Chaco tans and hair that smells like campfire and grubby toes and colorful flowers. Less order, more chaos, less structure and more freedom.
One by one these individual moments are what will make up our summer. Miss them and you’ve missed out on summer. Notice each one of them as they pass by, notice and give thanks, and you will find yourself in September with more than a tan and some extra sleep. You will have savored every inch of the season you just passed through.