By: Sandy Churchill
The sun is high, bees are buzzing and scents of summer flowers and freshly-mowed grass are filling our spirits with hope and joy this time of year. School years are coming to a close and vacation schedules are tiptoeing within reach.
We’ve all encountered the scramble to set forth New Year’s Resolutions, but what about summer goals? Be it a quest to learn something new, catch up on a long-anticipated project, delve into something purely fun, or conquer a list of “wish-list” activities, summer can be a lovely time to shift gears. It’s not really that the days are longer—to be sure, we have the same 24-hour days. But the “feeling” of longer days due to 9:00 p.m. sunsets and glorious golden light in the morning can stir us with greater energy and joy to get moving and enjoy the fullness of the day.
As a parent, I embrace summer not simply as an opportunity to go on vacation and relax, but to tackle something new or long-anticipated with a fresh eye and renewed energy. Some of my “jobs” as an enrichment teacher, volunteer CCD teacher, and Boy Scout merit badge counselor lighten a bit or temporarily disappear for a couple months—and our schedule is less structured in late June through late August.
Sometimes we embrace a “staycation” and try visiting local haunts to sample restaurant fare and enjoy museums we might not have seen before. Other years, we have used summer as a chance to paint the kitchen, organize a bedroom, or finally reduce the nightmarish preponderance of 20-gallon bins in storage.
Other times, summer poses an opportunity to linger over a new skill—piano, cooking, foreign language study, or a particular craft project. Without the pressure of the usual homework deadlines and structured classes and lessons, summer can offer a freedom to pursue interests and still manage to get to the beach, attend family reunions, and go camping.
But perhaps the most fun of all is the chance to dream, imagine, ponder, write, and create. A fledgling novel percolates at dawn, or a masterpiece painting takes shape on a sunny afternoon at the park. Piano keys accompany midday songbirds as compositions come alive, and inventions of all sorts come into being as children and adults take time to breathe, reflect, imagine, and play.
So my wish for you this summer is this: amid the day-to-day living of working, parenting, and “adulting” in myriad ways—embrace a few moments early this season to dream. Your simple “what if?” and “why not” might be just the re-charge you need before the leaves start to turn in the fall!