The sun is rising higher, earlier, every day and the birdsong is drowning in the noise of a hundred frogs. We’ve plowed through dozens of sticky popsicles and my library card is practically glowing from being swiped and handed back to me.
The peaches are in, the tomatoes are ripe— we are building meals around both. Because in our southern corner, July is a lot like visiting a farmer’s market… which happens to be located on the surface of the sun. The upside is all the amazing produce. The downside is the way your legs, in shorts, meld to the front seat of your car.
Hot, steamy weather aside, I know the seasonal gifts are among the best.
This is what it is to truly summer. To delight in what we hold, knowing we won’t hold it for much longer. To embrace long mornings and loose schedules. These brief months have a pace all their own— more laissez-faire, less get it done. Summer is rest.
For the second summer in a row, I took an accidental writing break. I didn’t mean to do it. What I *meant to do was have a summer full of words written. Sentences strung together into paragraphs for you. But maybe you needed to hear less from me this summer. I needed to write less, and listen more.
Often even as we savor summer, a break can feel like an indulgence– especially when all our roles are mashed up together. I like to choose my absence, but welcoming the effect of it is often harder. Maybe it’s hard for you too?
Maybe you’ve spent your whole summer feeling torn between what you thought your summer should be and what it is. Maybe you thought you would spend these months playing catch up, but instead you’re playing UNO and monopoly and camp director.
Maybe you had an amazing week away or day with your people only to scroll through your phone at ten pm and feel completely defeated— as though you failed miserably at a to-do list that wasn’t even yours to begin with.
Maybe you feel completely at peace with where you have been placed– until you notice the dreamers and doers all around you who seem to have excess time for both dreaming and doing. The internet isn’t much help in this one I’m afraid– even in summertime.
But if the internet in summer is the ocean— I’d choose to be the beach at sunset rather than the cruise ship port. It is okay for us to choose to be where everyone is not for a season.
Because if I’m not out there, it is because my place is in here. When less is what I’m called to, less is better. Less is the quiet path of more.
As I’ve been praying and considering what this season means for me, I’ve written a short manifesto for last few melting days of summer.
Perhaps you need it too?
A Summer Manifesto of Rhythm & Absence
I will breathe in summer and not hold it up against seasons of greater productivity.
I will not scrunch up my nose when I think of all that August will bring; I will open my hands to July and enjoy its’ slower gifts.
I will seek to integrate. I will create when I can, and be happily content with it.
I will smile and not sneer at these days of fluidity and fun.
I will not roll my eyes at the audacity of myself, thinking I could do it all.
I will not stop trying to balance both the good rest and the good work.
I will see the beauty in a period of less and embrace the knowledge that if rest is offered me, rest is where I am most needed.
I will eat popsicles with my children, not always hand them one and use that ten minutes to get something done.
I will stop thinking about what I haven’t accomplished to focus my whole face on their whole face.
I will remember that cultivating an atmosphere of simple fun and joy, means as much as creating a masterpiece.
I will take this break with my whole heart & see it as a gift wrapped in beach towels and tied with a jump rope bow.
I will choose wave skipping and seashell searches over chasing someone else’s goal.
I will stay in my own lane and swim happily in it.
I will remember that though summer is a gift, it is brief– and August is already on its’ way.
Laura Thomas says
I love this so much, Cynthia! Such gentle words that make me exhale and feel okay with all things summer. Summer is the best— I know come the hustle of fall, I’ll be missing the long, hot days of mellow. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy the now. Stopping by from Hope*Writers 🙂