Returning to Summer Days

Streets are quiet at 7 am, school parking lots are empty, families are on vacation, offices clear out early.  Summer seems like a different dimension of space and time.  During June and July – months holding most the daylight hours – there is a palpable drive for people to get the most out of each day.  A sense of freedom and possibility surrounds these hours.

During these months a part of me is back in elementary school, eager to begin summer break.  In those years I saw before me endless days to to play, explore, hang out.  No more running around to lessons or being confined by the needs of school requirements.  Instead I could read a book, have lunch on the deck, or play with friends.  I was free to set my own schedule – mostly.  With this freedom I ventured into new activities and learning.  As I think back, there are some practices that still help me prepare for summer.

Cleaning my room.  At the end of the school year I would often thoroughly clean my bedroom.  Throw away papers, reorganize drawers, dust all surfaces.  I wanted to start summer afresh without any remnants of the past year.

Gathering friends.  As a child it was for the Nancy Drew Lemon Yellow Club – if I remember correctly.  I couldn’t wait to bring friends together around common interests.  Sometimes they came, sometimes not.  But I was out there looking for community.

Reading, reading, reading.  Summer was a time to read more books.  I would go to the library and select books – pulling them off the shelves eager to dive into their stories.  Then throughout the summer months I would escape into these new worlds.

As another academic year has wound down I am breathing a little more easily and finding myself again at another summer.  With a freer schedule I can finally take time to consider long term plans for campus ministry instead of just focusing on the next day’s activity.  I can also take time off and explore other avenues of life – have evening meals with family, take some short vacations.  What had been a series of weeks of planning, preparations, long days, is now an opportunity to re-vision.

I’ve already done the preparatory cleaning – now it’s time to gather, read, and enjoy.  What rituals indicate to you that summer has begun?  Let’s not waste these days, this extra daylight.

Categories: Journey Living | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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