Slow Living in Summer
Hello and welcome back to the blog!
I truly feel that there is no greater relief to a Northerner's soul than the arrival of Summer.
The sun sets later, the grass is greener, and the smiles are brighter. Waking up to songbirds and falling asleep to the hum of a water sprinkler... there is just something ~different~ about Summer.
Perhaps it's the after-effects of living in a seasonal climate, or maybe it's the fact that our Summers are so short, but I have found that Summer is becoming one of my favorite seasons. The relief from Winter mixed together with the joy of new activities never ceases to draw new excitement each year. I find myself increasingly excited, waking up to new blooms and fresh birds each day.
I think Summer breathes life while simultaneously slowing it down.
And I think that's what I love most about it: it is equal parts busy AND slow. In Summer, we might be busy, but it's a different kind of busy. Instead of packing our schedules with work, study, and career related activities, our busyness is spent in the pursuit of fun and festivities; seeing how many evening barbecues, sunset beach walks, and starry night bonfires we can cram in after work before crashing and starting the day all over again.
There is something so charming and magical about smelling the floral pollen floating over the cooling grasses while listening to children shriek and laugh across the neighborhood. Fireflies sparkle in the corner of your eye, and for a moment, you realize that it's 10pm, and you don't need anything other than your light t-shirt. It's a special kind of heaven on earth.
Summer reminds me every year how incredibly blessed I am to be a human. Because I am a person living in this world, I get to experience the transformation of the seasons! I get to see blooming flowers, fall asleep to the hum of a summer rain, and splash my feet in a chilled lake. I get to lay on green grass, sip a cold iced water, and read summer books. I get to live!
These small moments are what make the seasons so special, and it's why I could never live in a non-seasonal climate. You really begin to appreciated the minutia and details within the seasons as you experience each transformative transition. The experience of a long-awaited Summer increases in pleasure and anticipation with each late-Spring snow storm. And when Fall inevitably arrives, I will be looking forward to crunchy leaves underfoot, the quiet chill of the winds, and the autumnal traditions found in our Midwestern town.
But most of all, Summer reminds me to stop and breathe. To appreciate the moment is one of the most important aspects of slow living. LITERALLY stopping to smell the roses allows us to enjoy slow living in an impactful and meaningful way.
But I think that you can be busy and still live slowly. Slow living isn't about physically moving around slowly, but rather slowing down your mindset and soul to experience a deeper and more dynamic side of life. Slow living happens when we tune our hearts and minds to the tune of nature and the small beauties of life.
I think my favorite part of slow living is that it has caused me to move towards a more humble state of mind. Instead of rushing around focused on my problems and goals, I find myself wistfully reflecting on my tiny place in Creation. I've begun to actually SEE the people around me, and have discovered that there is more to life than fame and fortune: there is laughter and dew drops... soft piano music and cotton sheets blowing on a clothesline. There is breath and laughter, and a peaceful state of mind.
Slow living causes us to develop a deeper appreciation for life, and most of all, it helps us to find the things in life that we can look forward to each day.
So I hope that this Summer, no matter how busy you are, that you take time to look at some flowers, listen to a sprinkler or some waves, and to just... breathe.