This is the time of year when the light stretches, our days are longer, our evenings sweeter, the heat hotter. There is, literally, more light in our lives.
I have strong visceral memories of this time of year from my childhood – the smell of freshly cut grass, warming in the sun; the woody smell of tanbark on the playground; the whoops of freedom from kids tromping up and down our cul-de-sac with nothing but the expansive time of summer ahead of us. It was glorious.
Now, as an adult, I don’t necessarily have all those same indicators of summer, but the light remains an indisputable nod to the delight of summer time. With more light, there seems to simply be more possibilities – more clarity and illumination of that which is important to us and the perception of more hours in a day to devote to these important facets.
Instead of just a later bedtime (I’m lucky if I make it to what was probably my 8th grade bedtime of 10p), light has come to resemble potential; hope; aliveness. Concepts that don’t quite make it on the radar of most 8-year-olds hanging upside down from the monkey bars. But they have emerged in my adult years.
Where spring brings the start of something new – planting and tending the seed – summer is when we cultivate those seeds. This year, cultivation comes in the form of nurturing relationships that bring joy, letting go of ones that do not, stretching my comfort zone boundaries, and being willing to risk without certainty of reward. This requires shining light on things we don’t often look at, like relationships or habits that have stopped serving us. What might be the new relationships or new habits that will continue to move us forward in the life we are cultivating, tending to, and growing?
These can be serious questions, but they can also be ones that release us from the dark corners we’ve painted ourselves into over the course of our years. Sometimes, it’s the extra light of summer that makes it possible to see that which we have let settle into the dark and make new, conscious decisions.
What are you cultivating in the light of summer?
*Originally published online in Fuse magazine