I’m rather ashamed to say that summer isn’t my best season.
I say that with trepidation.
In New England, it’s kind of like saying you don’t like the Red Sox or the Patriots. It’s just not acceptable.
When eight months of our year can be cold, wet, sometimes dark, how can anyone not love summer?
For me, it’s the heat and humidity which socks my energy. Seventy-five degree days – I could take easily….eighty-five or ninety and humid, not so much. I like fresh air and my windows open, not air conditioners running nonstop.
I love to produce a lot in my day; in the summer, I am unable. I have trouble exercising in the heat. I have bad hair days often and with hair this thick, it’s a mess.
Instead of embracing the changed season and accepting the slow down, it makes me edgy, kind of a like a runner with an injury who can’t get his miles in. I just feel out of balance.
It’s also the overwhelm of my social calendar.
While others come alive in summer and want to get together enthusiastically, I get worn down. I so wish we could pace our visits through the year or meet more frequently when it’s cold, wet, sometimes dark.
Again, I’m ashamed to say it. “Poor me” that I have kind friends and family inviting me to all sorts of get-togethers.
But I have to pace myself.
I turn down invitations. After a rainy day, where I can pull inward, I can better put myself back out there. If we have too long of a stretch of sunny days, I’m depleted while most people are revved up and joyful.
This year our week of summer vacation was a staycation. In Maine, I thought – no problem! There’s no end to what we can do and see, a short drive from our home.
We’ve had a long 8 years of sons in college (emotionally, physically, financially) and after a graduation party in Savannah in June (that was certainly not a vacation for my husband and me), we thought we’d better sit tight this summer. 2017 is once again, all about the kids.
Mid-week, I was in a bit of a funk. Not myself. Indecisive. Lacking enthusiasm.
We went to our favorite beach, one we visit nearly every week.
I went for a long walk by myself, watching surfers, kids with pails in sun hats and water shirts, other older folks like me walking barefoot along the shore. Folks who were enjoying the feel of the sand on their toes, I could tell.
When I returned to my beach chair, my husband had moved further down the sand after a camp counselor told him 200 campers were descending shortly upon the beach, right near where we sat…in case, we might want to move.
Lucky for me, we were still close enough so that I could watch the campers all day.
They brought me out of my funk.
200 boys, who must have been from multiple summer camps, middle to high school age, had a blast at the beach!
They played games all day long.
All were included.
They swam, chanted “ra ra” camp songs, went for walks, sat down all together on their towels to eat the lunch brought for them – likely 1,000 PB&J sandwiches, chips, chocolate chip cookies, lots of cans of soda.
At the end of the day, together, they cleaned up the cans and any mess they might have left behind.
They were well behaved and inclusive of one another.
There was so much laughter and friendship. I didn’t hear any foul language. They were upbeat and uncomplicated, fully embracing our beautiful beach and Maine summer weather.
A week later, there were 50 female campers at the beach, all wearing red bathing suits and carrying red beach towels. They, too, were joyful and inclusive of one another all day. As the tide pulled out, it left large puddles behind in the sand.
Off and on, girls would lie in the puddles, swinging their legs, laughing, chatting. The counselors were so professional – laser focused as life guards when watching their campers as they dove and swam in the waves.
Seeing all of these kids so enjoying themselves, such nice groups of young people, made my day and my summer week.
I am fortunate to have Maine summers. (I think of my son living in his first Austin, Texas summer with temperatures over 100 degrees.)
I need to embrace it, go with it, be grateful for it.
I need to accept and change with its rhythm as needed.