273: Thoughts on summerPosted: June 23, 2011
Some of the comments on my Summer Solstice post (271: Learning to love summer) on Tuesday were mixed and thought-provoking. I didn’t do a count to verify it but it looks like there is a pretty even split between those who love summer and those who don’t. Those who love summer gave some great reasons for doing so. Some of those reasons include:
- Better weather
- Longer days (more sunlight after the long, cold, dark days of winter)
- Flowers in bloom
- Sunrises and sunsets
Some of the descriptions from those who love it include:
- Lazy days
After reading the comments, I thought about it for a while and it occurred to me that summer is one of my busiest seasons of the year. The days are not all carefree, relaxed, lazy, and fun. (It should be noted that I don’t think the days are all carefree, relaxed, lazy, and fun, for those who think of summer in that way. I’m sure you all are busy with things, too.) Not that those descriptions never apply. There are some carefree, fun, relaxed, and lazy days. I hope this doesn’t come off as whingeing and whining as that’s not it at all. Summer brings a lot of enjoyment. It also brings a lot of work.
Summer starts with strawberry season and ends with the winter squashes. Some fruits and veggies we grow ourselves. Most we get from local farms. The produce of summer is our food for winter so I spend days and days and days canning, freezing, or otherwise preserving the harvest. This year might be a little easier without Hilgert’s Farm as I continue looking for a replacement (especially for that 17 lbs. of broccoli I know I’m going to miss).
I spend a lot of time in the garden weeding. Sometimes it’s hard to tell by looking at the garden, but it’s true. The weeds are faster than I am, and I do the best I can to keep up. Herbicides (and pesticides) are not an option as I’m trying to grow things in the healthiest way possible.
I mow. There is a lot of mowing to be done here at Breezy Acres, even after we allowed quite a bit of the property to just grow as it will. My portion of the mowing is small compared to what M does, but it does take time and effort because I do the parts that require the push mower (rather than the tractor), which is my choice. I help with some of the clean-up around the property including hauling and sawing wood, chipping and shredding, and things of that nature.
M and I have been trying to control the pond weeds by using a large rake to physically remove them. That takes time (and a lot of effort — it’s a great workout!). We aerate the pond by pedaling around in the paddle boat.
Breezy Acres in the summertime requires a lot of care and attention. We let Mother Nature do as much of the work as possible, but there are still things that need tending. I love this place and am grateful for being here. It is worth every moment of work and effort. Beauty, as they say, has its price, and the beauty makes it worth the effort. There are pay-offs all around. 🙂
Summer in northeastern Ohio is when the weather is nice enough for fairs, festivals, outdoor concerts (including evenings at Blossom, picnicking on the lawn and listening to the Cleveland Orchestra perform). We visit gardens and arboretums, take long weekend trips to hike and explore. We get together with family and friends as much as possible. Summer used to be the time when we held our big Party By The Pond (usually on or around the solstice) which always involved great amounts of work to put together.
These are all fun things, but by the end of the summer I am exhausted. Winter, for me, is the time to relax, spend carefree evenings by the fire, and laze about when the weather is bad. Summers are busy, busy, busy, but there certainly are some relaxing moments. Watching the sunset from the porch or deck and then enjoying the display of firefly lights in the meadows. Hazy sunrises on dewy mornings. A row or pedal around the pond. Sitting on the swim platform, reading a book and sipping on a drink.
So, like the comments, summer is mixed between the busy, productive times, and the relaxing, fun times. In that mix is the heat, the humidity, and the insects so sometimes, for me, the outdoor things are not particularly fun or relaxing. The best thing about summer is how much it makes me appreciate the cooler weather when it arrives.
This summer I am going to do my best to appreciate and enjoy each moment, whether it is a busy moment or a relaxing moment or a fun moment or any kind of moment at all. This summer I am going to take the time to learn about the season itself by participating in it fully, by being present, and by practicing gratitude for all the gifts that summer brings.