A lot of us are already lamenting how fast the summer has gone—myself included. June is already over.When did that happen? Who authorized this?
Today, July 1, I’d like to pose the following challenge:
Take this summer by the tail and ENJOY IT.
It’s not passing you by, it’s happening. Right now.
What would it look like to seize the summer, exactly the way you wish you had, at the end of each summer season?
With this in mind, here are my ten simple ways to celebrate summer.
1. Drink your morning beverage outside
Coffee, tea, lemon water…whatever sustaining liquid you consume in the morning. Pick it up, walk it out the front door, and drink it there. Sitting on the front steps, or lolling about the lawn. What does this do? It connects you with the weather. It gets you a little bit of sunshine and fresh air. It reminds you that not all of life needs to be spent inside with fluorescent lights and air conditioning. (I also use this opportunity to water my plants with the other hand. We both need sustaining beverages.)
2. Walk barefoot in the grass
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
That’s all I’m going to say about that. (I should probably credit that to Forrest Gump, shouldn’t I?)
3. Fill your plate with the season’s finest
Right now in our house, we’re eating cherries and watermelon and kohlrabi and all the parsley we can consume from my garden. As often as possible, opt for the farmer’s market before the grocery store, and let your senses guide you toward which of the season’s produce look the most ripe, juicy, and delicious.
White Apron Chef has some great ideas in this post, if you’re looking for inspiration.
4. CSA-inspired cocktails in the yard
The Great Outdoors may or may not be your thing…but I bet I can get you on board with cocktails on the deck, right? One of my fondest memories last summer is having rhubarbaritas with my dear friend Kate in the backyard. Truly, all you need for a happy summer afternoon is good company, sunshine, a comfy chair and tasty drink.
Pop some seasonal flavors in that drink, while you’re at it! Mint, thyme, and basil are great for infusing drinks with summertime splendor. So are crushed berries, and little toothpicks skewered with cucumbers or fruit. Here are some fancy drink ideas to get your wheels turning.
5. Plan a glamping trip
All my ideas on that are right over here. And good heavens, please unplug for the weekend. Feel what it feels like to turn your phone off for a whole day (or more! *gasp*).
6. Open up the windows
In the spirit of the aforementioned sunshine and fresh air:
Whenever possible, turn off the AC and let nature’s breeze flow in through your windows, and carry out the stale air that’s accumulated there. Open everything, so even your closets get an infusion of that fresh oxygen. Deep breath in….ahhhhhhhhh.
7. Have a picnic
Make it easy on yourself and pick up food, if that’s what it will take to get you on your way to a park or a beautiful outdoor spot. Pack a blanket or some towels, and take your nourishment amid sunshine, trees and sunlight.
8. Become a mermaid
When the weather does get hot, there’s nothing like a large (or small) body of water to fix all that ails you. As often as possible, enjoy the sunshine in or near a pool, a beach, a river, a boat or a sprinkler.
Here’s me, a couple weeks ago when I ditched work at 2 in the afternoon to bask in the sun and swim with the fishies in the river. (Confession: I didn’t swim that long because the fishies and the seaweed were creeping me out. But I did it. Also: I saw a teenager catch a tiny fish WITH HER HANDS, then go drop it on one of her sunbathing friends. Everything was amazing that day.)
9. Bring the outdoors in
As much as we’d like to, we can’t spend all our time outside. (Because jobs, and sleeping, and other such necessities). When that’s the case, carry some of your favorite outdoor elements in with you—fresh flowers, some pretty rocks or a twig that’s been worn smooth by running water. Gaze at it lovingly from time to time, and let it help you remember how magical and lively and balmy summer is.
10. Plant a pot of something, and tend it on your front step
Basil, maybe, or some pretty flowers. Experience the wonder and mystery of tending a living thing that grows and expands, just because you give it water and sunshine. Even the brownest of brown thumbs can grow some scallions in a windowsill.
Need a little more?
Here’s some general summertime inspiration from my Pinterest board:
I’d love to hear from you in the comments—how are you celebrating this summer?