Slow down. Let’s take a look at the preciousness of these few, all too short months of summer.
The perfect summer day is the one you remember from childhood, or perhaps the one you live now. While living in the present is philosophically healthy and probably part of your daily meditation, summer is often experienced through the filter of “nostalgia”: the ice-cream truck with its unchanging jingle reminding you or when you were a kid and waiting for it to reach your street, or plundering berries from some wild patch on a country lane. Summer nostalgia has its own scent and warmth… and you remember usually what was best and for its innocence. Which is why, because of its brevity, its good just to drink it up as you would a tall glass of homemade lemonade – bought, of course, from the kids’ stand down the street.
Summer is for simplicity. Without apology, meals become sandwiches, the crunch of cucumbers and the juiciness of fresh locally grown tomatoes fusing under bread of whatever provenance – farmers’ market artisan or the corner store…get-togethers become picnics in the park. We dress by tossing things on - that rock-n-roll tee you bought twenty years ago, a pair of cut-off shorts, flip flops. We bare our faces and anchor our unruly locks in a low ponytail in a defiant sense of “who cares”. We swap traffic jams for the carefree pedal of a bike or go on foot. We camp and discover the simple joys of sleeping under the stars. And, in moments of summer bliss and idleness, we think about absolutely nothing. And nothing could be simpler than that.
Warm days are a great time to bring meditation into everyday activities but it’s also great to simply take a “slow down” pace and take small mental breaks from the ordinary that involve setting intents and concentrating. Think of them as active meditations that can calm the rush and refresh you mentally. Try these:
Sitting quietly in nature and listening to the sounds of summer.
Counting the petals of a flower.
Lying on your back watching the clouds go by.
Composing a summer haiku.
Picking raspberries, slowly.
Drumming in a drum circle.
Joining the local tai chi practitioners in the park.
Swapping your yoga practice for a slower flow or restorative session.
Making a daisy chain crown.
Making a simple pinch pot at a local clay studio.
Slow dancing (of course!)