Every summer of my life has been the same. I pine and reach madly for it, spending all winter and spring romanticizing fantasies of its impassioned heat. Of birds on a wire. Cones of melting ice cream dripping down my arm. Bare feet hugging the dirt. Coffee on ice.
There are also the visions of couples kissing in the park, and the stories I create around them. The tossing of pennies into my fountain reflection. The distant shrieks and shrills of children at play. The quiet country roads that beckon for night drives with the windows rolled down – further convincing that the world lays out before me as my playground.
As it nears, I vow to myself that it will be my most confident and explorative summer ever – that I will rebel against my tendencies toward nesting, and accept its daring invitation for overexposure. That I will hurl my tanned body into the belly of its parades, oceans and swimming holes, fancying the sun on my shoulders. That I will sink my cozy hindrances into its carefree and sprightly “no holding back” policy. That I will surrender fully to its open-aired vulnerability. That I will love my freckles with the same passion and vibrancy of its fertile fruits.
And, at first, I unabashedly do. But, much like a love affair that turns cold and runs for cover once it overheats, I start to pull away. I have to catch my breath. And, slowly then, I begin hiding from its blistering and unmerciful sun, finding the solace of a book in my air conditioned living room. I moan about having become a Thanksgiving feast for tribes of mosquitoes. I huff and puff while crawling into the steaming carriage of my car – leather threatening to disintegrate my flesh. Alas, I then burn out from its idolized inferno – asking, “Is it October yet?”
And, then I miss it all over again.
So, this year, before the sunflowers wilt and the fireflies fly away, I am going to take a nod from Deepak Chopra – one he blessed me with in a recent interview for a magazine story. He told me, “Be here now. This. Right now.” Because, whether in a blissful infatuation or burning out in a blistering sweat, all we ever have is now. And, summer is a red-hot and liberating lover. This season has so much to teach us about boldly stepping out and stripping the layers of our inhibitions. So, let us be alert to its mantras. Let us feel the burn and create lasting memories that we will one day wish to call upon and swim inside of once again.
Below are 44 reasons to commence your summer love affair...
- Rope swings.
- Open fields of wildflowers enticing your body for slumber.
- The smell of barbecue.
- The lights of a carnival at night.
- Postcards in the mailbox.
- Hot air balloon rides.
- Free concerts blasting through the open air.
- Firefly sightings.
- The flirtation of a breeze finding its way under your skirt.
- Bare skin and backless dresses.
- The sound of the ice cream truck in your neighborhood.
- The lure of a water ride.
- The smoke of a grill.
- Peach stands.
- A painted cotton candy sky.
- The distant shrieks and shrills of neighborhood kids.
- Sand in your shoes.
- Feeding the ducks.
- The symphony of morning birds.
- Back against the cool grass, eyes fixed upon the stars.
- The smell of hot rain.
- Fireworks displays wildly lighting up the blackness, awing you and reminding you how narrow your problems are.
- Your local swimming hole sanctuary.
- The sound of a stream against the rocks.
- Bees swarming to flowers.
- Sinking your teeth into a perfectly-ripened watermelon.
- Beach bonfire storytelling.
- The intricate detail of a strawberry.
- Freckled noses.
- Porch hangs.
- Blankets spread across the grass.
- Tan lines so artistically placed, you showcase them like a badge of honor.
- Weird flavors of ice cream that mysteriously work.
- Poolside Sangria sips.
- Dinner on the patio.
- Coffee on ice.
- The pool float that cradles your body just right.
- A hammock swing under the late afternoon sun.
- The accidental discovery of a summer anthem.
- When the warmth of your tongue softens the popsicle.
- The sound of ice in your glass.
- Toes in the water.
- The distance roar of a lawnmower.
- The smell of freshly-cut grass.
©TheDailyDoll.com / Lacey Johnson 2015 & 2017
For more season-themed offerings of inspiration, check out: