Summer officially begins June 21, but if you’re like me, you’re already dreaming of ways to spend summer this year.
While summer is a season that varies from region to region, the months of summer are generally considered the hot months of the year. The warm sunshine and longer days open up opportunities for outdoor activities and more daylight to spend in leisure activities. When my children were young, I loved the beginning of summer vacation. No more school work to occupy nights. No more rising in the morning to the sound of an alarm clock. From the vantage point of early June, summer looked long and open to possibilities.
Those days are past, but I still enjoy the leisurely, care-free feel of summer. A perfect summer for me now involves days at the beach, long bike rides alone through the country, and brisk walks with my husband in early evening or after the stars appear. And of course, there is plenty of reading. My husband and I love taking our lawn chairs to a nearby park or nature preserve and sit together enjoying our separate experience of reading our latest books al fresco.
|© Muriel Lasure | Dreamstime Stock Photos|
Of course, these leisure or fitness activities are sandwiched in between working, because that doesn’t stop for us during summer. I love my work, writing, so it’s not something that gets in the way of enjoying summer. Still, what I’ve come to believe is what we’re all seeking and hope to find in summer is freedom.
Daily life requires a lot from us, and schedules and demands on our energy and time can seem confining. It causes stress. Even those of us who enjoy our work can find ourselves longing to get away from it all. It often can feel as though we’re trapped in endless demands. So we look to the warm months of summer to set us free, if only for a holiday or a week-long vacation, to stretch our soul and just do what we choose to do. Like in the “old days” we hear about when kids could play all day and just had to be back home by the time the street lights came on.
And maybe that sense of freedom and world going away to leave us to our own devices are what we find in reading a good book. Summer reads are sometimes thought to be light and fun to fit the mood of summer. For me this summer, I’m feeling very Harry Potteresque, and am looking for magic and excitement in a story. But whatever the stories, reading offers an escape from the mundane, a kind of freedom found in the lovely feeling of being immersed in a different life, a different world, where we don’t have to do or think, just be and enjoy.