Monday, June 26, 2017

Summertime :: Let Go

Summer has arrived in all its glory. The lake is warming. The birds are back and making themselves known by their song in the wee hours of the morning. Blossoms abound. Meals are simpler.  The fresh vegetables of early summer are ready for eating: baby greens, scallions, radishes, chard, kale, fresh herbs too, and plenty of eggs from the hens. The nighttime temperature is no longer dropping into the freezing zone. The warmth is here to stay.

The energy feels expansive, an upward movement, with plants reaching upwards towards the cosmos, a grand upward and outward gesture, with berries and peas coming to fruition. The energy of summer is like the finger play Five Little Peas, whose energy is pushing outward from within.

Five little peas,
In a pod pressed.
One grew, two grew
So did all the rest.
They grew and they grew
And they did not stop.
Until one day,
The pod went POP!

Unlike the rising energy of spring, the energy of summer demands a fertile outlet.

The topic of summer rhythm came up in nearly all of my coaching calls this week, so I thought I'd share with you how I approach summer, in the hopes that it might help you craft your summer rhythm.

A little bit about my bias and where I'm coming from. I spent my childhood on the coast of Maine, in the days of, "Go out and play!" Boy did we ever play. We went out in the morning and spent the day roaming the meadows and woods and playing at the pond. We rode our bikes. At lunchtime we went home to eat. Sometimes we went to the beach. In the evenings we'd drive to the orchard and watch the deer come out.

Summer was a languid time for children. That was the norm. City children played with the hose and found plenty of company. As I got older summer became a time of reading novels, afternoon naps out of doors, and time on the beach. When I turned 16, summer meant a summer job.

I didn't imagine that there would be any other way to experience summer for my children. With my first child we went to live on remote islands in the Pacific Ocean. Life was slow year round, referred to as "island time." Always plenty of children and plenty of time.

With child number two we were back in the United States. We were fortunate to live around other families who shared the "Go out and play!" view of childhood. We were part of a Waldorf community and it seemed that everyone went out to play. It was only later that I learned how scripted and organized childhood had become.

I've been committed to protecting the wonder of childhood for my children, for the children in my care in the kindergarten and nursery and in supporting parents who want to protect the wonder of childhood. 

I came up with a simple formula. If you know me, you've heard it before. It's this:

Eat Sleep Play Love ~ in the fresh air

My formula for summer is to let go. Let go of the stress. Let go of trying to "get it right." Let go of feeling like it's supposed to be a certain way. 

Just be.

Be you. Feel the warmth of sun on your face. Read good books. Make popsicles. 

Let the focus be on the basics: a somewhat regular bedtime, wholesome meals, time to play, being together and spending lots of time in the fresh air.

Have lazy hammock time. Drag the table out of doors for meals. Build an evening campfire pit by placing stones in a circle. Sing songs together. Watch the stars come out. Drink lemonade. Eat ice cream. (there's some really good coconut milk ice creams for the dairy free!) Bring out an old bedspread and have a picnic. Find water and dip your toes in. Pick berries if you have a local source.

Just be.

What's your favorite thing about summer?


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Stacey! There's so much to love about summer when we keep it simple.


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