After the driest July in 50 years, we have come to August…and rain. Suddenly our world is gray, cool, the summer glow muted. We know summer is not over — neither by the calendar nor by the weather still to come — but this dark, wet world is a foreshadowing. It is a reminder: summer is finite.
I am hardly a fan of hot weather, but I am not ready for summer to be gone, even hot summer. I am not ready for long pants and sweaters and early evening darkness. I am not ready for apples instead of berries. I am not ready for blankets or (heavens!) turning on the heat. I have not completed whatever it is that summer offers me.
Not long ago (or so it seems) I suggested a midsummer review at the solstice. Time felt open, the summer still spacious and bountiful. Yet now, less than two months later, the time remaining seems scarce. I feel anxious, ungrounded, as if I almost missed something but I’m not sure what.
What I need is to talk to myself, here, today. I want to talk to the part of me that is shocked by the change in weather (and a bit frightened that a season’s change feels close by). I want to hear what it is that I long for in these final summer weeks. I want to find out what it is I might be forgetting as I stand in the damp shadows that portend fall.
I do two things right now:
1. I take a breath. And I take another.
There I am, already more balanced, more with myself. I take another breath.
2. Now, already quieter, I ask myself questions.
- What am I aware of?
- What do I feel when I imagine summer?
- What do I feel when I imagine fall?
- What do I most need right now?
- What would I do if I could do anything?
- What would soothe my heart?
- What would spark my mind?
- What would make me so grateful I might burst open?
- What do I need right now?
I could go on and on. When I leave myself open, I find questions pouring out and in. Without yet writing answers, without even thinking about writing, I feel ideas beginning to live inside of me. The very questions offer comfort and create trust.
Why not see what questions arise for you? Whether you are ensconced in traditional summer (or maybe even longing for fall!), whether time seems to be moving quickly or slowly, whether you are deep within action or enjoying an interlude, you can stop for just a minute. Breathe. Ask. Listen. Nothing more is required.
Questions for Reflection: Where do you feel in the passage of summer time? What does this post evoke for you? What happens if you stop, breathe, and give yourself space for questions?
Writing Prompts: “The summer months seem to be moving ______” (then keep writing); “As I read this post, I notice myself ______” (then keep writing); “The question that pops into my mind first is ______” (then keep writing); “I know that what I most need from myself is ______” (then keep writing); “I realize I need to make sure this summer gives me a chance to ______” (then keep writing).