summer lessons

There are always days which stay with you long after a season has been folded and packed away. Moments when you felt joy or purpose or transcendence or connection, when nothing stood in your way, blocked your view, held you back or caused doubt or fear to creep in. Summer, for me, allowed for a multitude of such glimpses into splendor. Perhaps you are nodding in agreement because of your freedom days: vacation time to dive in, soar above, or just sway on a porch swing. However you got there, I do hope you felt the divine. Sweet euphoria. And perhaps have garnered a few lessons of your own to remember when the cold wind strikes. Here are mine.

First and foremost, take in all you can in the present moment. Savor whatever and everything. At any given moment there are large vistas or small pinpoints, and each is worth your attention. Record the now with a big breath in and a full breath out, and then nothing else for a bit. Smell, taste, listen, look, take it all in and for sure you will walk away revived and ready for the next step.

Revisit the sacred places in your life. They may be a small chapel by the sea where you exchanged solitary vows with your spouse of almost three decades or a street corner coffee shop that holds some other significance, it matters not. But visit and revisit your power places every so often, and remember the experience they first afforded you. There is no doubt in my mind that place hold much significance to our most inner self, and you need those very planted memories to hold on to your own truths. Let yourself remember your younger self, in that place, and carry on.

How quickly we lose play, dance, red lipstick on a hot night, once the days shorten, once the chill comes. But bring in the flame of that energy. Light a candle, strike a pose, shout a bit, laugh over your own stubbornness, and for sure dance. We can’t really let loose enough, can we? No, I’m telling you, in this age of fear and hostility, you can’t dance too much. However you let go, do so with swagger and a smile. When the arctic wind blows remember attitude and shake that booty.

For sure, keep traveling beyond your own walls. Whatever that means for you. Through a multitude of texts or physically in person, head over your border and see something different. Find yourself on new territory, and discover a new you there. This summer I read a wide range of books, traveled to new places, and watched how each experience became an opening, a departure away from the limitations and stagnations that boundaries maintain. As much as possible, as the season shifts you in, remember all that delicious newness awaiting your future.

Get with the people you love. Make time to hold them close. Years are fleeting, and although you may not fully realize this at nineteen by the time you’re forty you start to catch on that this wild and wondrous adventure has an exit date which is bound to come before you are ready to let go, so, with a BIG SO, make sure you hold and hug and listen and laugh and eat and drink and live and scoot or swim or stroll with those you love. Holidays are great to gather, but find a way to have an ordinary day too, where you go up and down the aisles and fill a basket and prepare a meal and sit around a long wooden table as day shifts to night and you lose track of time, together.

Speaking of strolling, do that more too. I know I’m the last to really learn this lesson since every walk I take is at break neck speed, but as I will try, I recommend you do too. Stroll at sunset or sunrise or at lunch break. Take a moment to just move a bit more, slowly, intentionally, for the sole purpose of feeling your feet on the earth and the air on your face. Watch carefully how this moment is unlike any other and will morph into something completely different within seconds, as you just stroll into it. With grace and ease, with all your muscles and, in fact, your whole body flowing freely, fluidly. Keep moving now and it will always be so effortless.

Summer. What a teacher. This I know for sure…

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