I got to thinking that I sure hadn't been doing much lately. It had been insanely hot and sunny at 107 degrees last week. Then it became cool and rainy at a silly 61 degrees this week. No wonder we wear wool socks with sandals and parkas with shorts up here. We honestly don't know if it's coming or going. It's not that we want to be prepared; its just that we're completely confused.
No this has absolutely nothing to do with the hummingbird picture. (it is pretty cool though isn't it?) This does have to do with the picture of the single chair looking down the pathway however. That is where I was sitting when I began to think I had been far to focused on the darn weather. I sat there watching the birds flit from feeder to feeder through the garden and I thought "what the heck have I been doing?" I wondered if I had accomplished even half of the grand plans I had made for summer while shoveling three feet of snow off the steps in December.
I began to run down the list in my mind. Had I done this, had I done that? Did I get that new bed started and planted, did I repaint the deck or clean out the garage? The list went on and though I was certain that I must have been a total lazy bum, each item could be checked off. Still there was the nagging feeling that something big had been left undone, something important. And so I sat there and thought some more.
The garden was looking good. I had managed to do that. The deck was painted, the garage cleaned and I had even managed to work in the studio on a daily basis again. So what was missing? Why the nagging feeling that the summer was slipping away and I hadn't gotten something done? It should have been so obvious but I missed it anyway. I had not relaxed. I had not let go. It finally dawned on me that I had worried about something or other that had to be done, accomplished, completed and managed at ever turn. That is not to say that I did not feel joy or happiness. Or that I did not feel summer glory laying on a hammock in the shade of a tree or smelling the flowers with the sun on my face. No, it is to say that while I was doing all that I was also running the constant mental program of "what's not good enough" in the back of my mind.
The nagging bit of undone business was that I had not really unplugged from "me" and recharged. I had not let go of last year or even the year before. I was still looking for what's next and not what's now. I had not made a trip to the ocean to sink my toes into the sand. I had not driven out to the vast wheat fields on the Eastern side of the state to watch them sway in the wind. I had not even gone up into the high mountains to look out into the big sky. The summer was nearly over and I still had not made myself feel small.
You see, the most important thing I always want to get out of summer is not completed projects or barefooted fun but to remember what it is to be insignificant and yet profoundly important. The way the ocean makes you feel when the crashing waves roll in and you know the they have been doing that since the dawn of time and they'll keep on doing that long after you're gone. The way you feel when you look up into the Milky Way and see worlds beyond measure and realize that you are on one of those tiny specks too. I need to feel the rest of the universe around me like you feel the cool grass between your toes.
Summer is for living and rejoicing in life. It's for reminding you that you have a place in the whole swirling mass of existence. And it's about having the courage and willingness to live each day like it is was the only day... and that day was summer.