At its most idyllic, summer is relaxation, time with family and friends, comfortable temperatures to explore outside without trying very hard (can you tell I’m Canadian?) and longer days with fewer obligations. It is an opportunity to fill our stores up in every way we can, fresh food, fun gatherings, festivals, travels, a break from routine, I know, I know, that’s also a vacation.
In reality, as we get older, maybe summer becomes less differentiated from the rest of the year. Despite the pull of responsibilities, I am a strong proponent for carving some time to feel the ease of the season as we were able to as children. As an adult, making this happen often looks different.
Today I spent the day with a friend of 30 years. She and I and her sweet puppy lounged on a blanket on the side of the Elbow River as my oldest son caught minnows and my youngest moved between us. It was delightful and easy, a beautiful breeze, some of my favourite people, nature; it was, as they say, the good stuff.
My friend said something this afternoon about not forcing things, about how despite having to work for what we desire, sometimes we need to focus on coming from a place of patience and instead wait for things to work for us. There’s a lot of wisdom in this, in waiting, sometimes.
Another friend of mine, in fact, the first friend I made when I moved across the country to go to university when I was 17, is driving to my house from a different city tonight. We had a brief conversation on the phone and guess what we talked about? Not forcing things. Arriving when we do and knowing that we will arrive to open arms, grace and acceptance of what our time together needs to be. How lovely to have room.
Tonight, knowing that I had some things to get done, my husband got supper together, corralled and played with our puppy-like sons (how do they have all of this energy?). It’s mostly done wordlessly. There is no forcing, again, there is ease.
It’s not like this every day, but today, I have found my summer.