I am looking forward to summer. The school calendar is counting down to year’s end and that, combined with the splendidly uplifting mild weather of this past weekend, has me dreaming to relaxing, lazy days ahead. Wonderful, wistful summer days to enjoy quiet moments…I know that they will be here soon, that summertime is within reach. Content with that realization, I’m sure I can hang on a little longer.
I shared recently that I am looking forward to the Leisurely Breakfast (oh boy, every morning as I rush breakfast to hurry out the door I’m reminded about that simple pleasure!). After this weekend, another pleasure I am joyfully anticipating is time spent outdoors taking in the sights and sounds of nature. To be honest, like many of us, I spend most of the year indoors. I work indoors, come home from work and stay indoors. The most time I spend out-of-doors is going to and from my car. I feel ashamed to say that, but sadly that is the truth.
During the summertime I get to spend more time at home, and the delicious, sunny days and warm summer evenings have a way of luring me to step out and breathe it all in. There is nothing like hearing the chirps and responses of the birds, or catching a whiff of a neighbor’s grill or smelling the aroma of freshly mowed grass. Those say “summer” to me. So does seeing the play of sunlight filtering through the leaves of the trees to where I sit beneath; simply soothing, especially on blue-sky days. The neighborhood cats who come for a visit are delightful to watch, jumping fences or chasing the squirrels who are busily harvesting acorns from treetops. Of course they choose the very trees I sit under and the acorns, half eaten, fall to the ground, sometimes narrowly missing me. I take my chances anyway. Even the insects make their presence known, showing off long wings and bright colors, and making their summer sounds. Often they coordinate with the birds, adding their percussive talents to the vocal melodies.
Every summer our family does its part to use less energy and save money by hanging the laundry on clothes lines rather than use the dryer. Spoiled by modern convenience, there are times when I will complain to my eco-conscious husband about having to do my bit (it’s his idea), but I’ve discovered, surprisingly, that I enjoy the time outdoors doing this activity. Hanging out clothes gives me an added reason to get outside. What I’ve found, especially in the morning hours, is that it’s peaceful outside. What an amazing opportunity for tranquil reflection. But it’s far from quiet in my little backyard. Living in an urban residential/business area in our community, the sights and sounds I experience are not limited to those from nature. The sights and sounds of human activity abound. At any time I might catch the lighthearted shouts of a greeting or those of a heated argument; bright and breezy Latin rhythms or the screaming sirens of speeding emergency vehicles. Natural sounds or human sounds, one thing is certain: the outdoor world around me is rich, vibrant, and very much alive.
Even my cat appreciates the summer-like weather and the time outside. What a treat it is for Charcoal to explore his surroundings or just hang out on a bench, without a care in the world. Like me, he knows that this is what the good life is about: enjoying the season for sitting back and unwinding.
Ahhhh…I can hardly wait…