‘Lose Your Shoes……’
Being a summer-born baby, I am biased about the season of warmth, long days and growth. Summer is, to me, nature’s way of ‘showing its beauty’ – a ‘showcase’ of sorts. The abundance of crops, vegetables, flowers, weeds – everything is lush and bountiful, bathed in light with long days and – if we are luckily – warm sunshine. The rain is also warm and, in the UK, – frequent – encouraging growth. The smells of summer are unmistakable – the heady scent of flowers, the dry heat of the day as the fields of rapeseed, corn and barley ripen and the accompanying continuous summer soundtrack – bumble bees buzzing in swaying meadows of wildflowers collecting pollen.
I love summer for some of the reasons that I have stated earlier – and I also recognise summer as a time of rest and relaxation, which is essential if we are to grow. The opportunity to travel – even though we are still partly restricted – is still desirable for us, helping us to see things from a new perspective. Reflecting is essential for our development and the summer gives us the opportunity to review what we have done and what we might go on to do.
We have learned about the power of nature during the past sixteen months and its healing qualities for us and so we should embrace summer as the time to look, listen and take stock. Watching local wildlife such as birds drinking water from a birdbath, or bats swirling at dusk collecting insects is fascinating! Our evenings are short and sunsets are colourful and visually stunning as we approach the summer solstice in mid-June. Once June 21st has passed, even though we remain in summer, the evenings start to get longer but there are still gems to be gained from watching foxes playing in the long grass!
We also have the food that signposts us to the season’s delights: barbecued food; summer cocktails, salads, strawberries and cream, fruits, ice cream, iced drinks – what’s not to like? The majority of summer food is tasty and nutritious – but I don’t know if I can stretch that analogy with ice cream!
What can we take away from the warmth and growth of nature’s best (in my opinion) season?
Vitamin D – exposing ourselves to the life giving sun that absorbs the calcium it needs to build and maintain bones.
Fruition – after an academic year of working hard, the year comes to fruition and all the projects culminate – be it exams, plays, concerts, degree courses, post graduate degree courses. Let the ending be welcomed and embraced, even if you’re dog-tired! Ending well is important;
Fulfilment – The enjoyment the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted – time to slow down, to rest, to pause, to change routine, to notice how we are feeling;
Happiness – feelings of satisfaction, of joy, of contentment. Having the opportunity to be with the people that you CHOOSE to be with, doing the activities that bring joy and, if required, to just be – creating contentment;
Beauty – observing and wallowing in the beauty around you – whether you are at home or away from home that inspires you
For me, the sign that my favourite season has arrived is that I can wear flip flops! The unmistakable sound of rubber against bare feet indicates the seasonal changes that enable us to ‘lose our shoes’. The idea that we can shake off footwear and clothing during the summer is both liberating and inspirational. There’s the opportunity to metaphorically become lighter during the summer months.
© Audrey Pantelis