Barefoot, I step outside our house. The ground is hot and I jump to quickly reach the soothing grass. Three more steps, now slower and firmer, and I stand under a big cherry tree. When I look up, I see yellow and red alternating between the leaves - sunbeams and plump cherries. This year, after the last year's poor harvest, the fruit is especially large and sweet. I grab a few and smile to myself, realizing summer is definitely here.
93 days. That’s how much of summer we get to enjoy every year. 93 days between June solstice and September equinox. It’s the season of sun, laughter, and fun. The season of long-awaited trips and travels and epic adventures. The season to relax and recharge.
93 days of summer sound and feel like the best possible treat– and what is best about this treat is that we get to enjoy it every year. And each year we coordinate holiday dates and make bookings far in advance, plan itineraries and schedule (kids’) activities, do stressful last-minute shopping trips to buy new bikinis, search for the most attractive newly opened summer spots to hang out at with friends … just to make sure we get the most out of … this gift: 93 days of summer.
But with all this organizing and packing and ‘living life to the fullest’, the well-earned break often turns out to be more exhausting than recharging. We search for peace and quiet in crowded places and popular destinations, only to realize later that we are doing this more for show than for personal desire.
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” ― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Over the past few years, I’ve started searching for simple and slow instead of fancy and famous. As it happens, I don’t even have to search for it – I just stop, listen, and observe. It needs no planning or organizing. It’s all there. It’s the little moments and sights that make each summer a gift.
By slowing down and opening your senses, you will see how much beauty there is around you. Summer is an opportunity to stop planning and start enjoying. Day after day, all we do is plan. Yet we feel like we are always behind. Enjoy what you have.
Kick off your shoes and feel the soft grass beneath your feet. Sit down in a park and people-watch. Try a new ice-cream flavour and take time to listen to a street performer. Summer goes by fast enough; you don’t want to race through it. You don’t need to rush to get to some place wonderful. You are already there.