Our memories of summer are often intense because it is a season blessed with a vividness unsurpassed by any other time of year. Our senses are delighted by bright colors, fresh scents, vibrant flavors, brilliant sunlight, and heat’s caress. There is a sumptuousness about summertime, as both flora and fauna come into their own, regaling us with natural beauty. Our day-to-day circumstances may not change as spring turns into summer, yet we nonetheless feel refreshed. Our burdens seem lighter, and we feel compelled to play, to travel, to relax, and to experience all of life’s joys to their full extent during extended sunlit hours.
Rituals specific to the summer season empower us to attune ourselves to the changes that take place in nature and within ourselves as the weather grows warmer. Some summertime rituals are highly personalâ€”remnants of past traditions we have unconsciously preserved through practice. Others can be incorporated into our lives whenever we feel the need to experience summer’s significance on a deeper level. Summer is at its core a season of light, and by opening ourselves and our spaces to this light, we honor all the joy associated with the coming months. Unbolting windows and doors, arranging bright-golden blooms in a vase, and turning our faces toward the sun become a celebration when done with intent. Summer is also a wonderful time to practice focused listening, as the air is filled with beautiful sounds particular to the season. To begin, find a quiet, solitary spot. For 10 minutes, pay attention to the workings of your mind and allow it to wander at will. Then turn your att! ention to the sounds resonating around you and note what you hear, whether the buzzing of bees, children’s laughter, or birdsong.
Thoughts of summer likely evoke numerous pleasant images in your mind. However, if what you envision seems little more than a piece of your distant past, you can reacquaint yourself with the joys of summertime by immersing yourself in its pleasures. Wake up with the sunrise, take a day trip to the beach, indulge in an ice cream cone, or simply sit quietly in nature’s embrace. The season will pass quickly, but while it remains, you can revel in the richness of life and renew yourself in the wonder of the light.