The warmth of spring has transitioned to the vibrant energy of summer, and I am continuing my journey to embrace the essence of each season and weave its values into my life. This post follows my ongoing exploration of seasonal living, building upon the my thoughts and experiences shared in the previous post, “The Spring Seedling.”
In this installment, I’m delving into the unique energy of summer, celebrating the abundance of light and the fruits of our labor. I’m exploring living intentionally with the season, nurturing relationships, practicing gratitude, and finding rejuvenation in rest. And, of course, I invite you to join me in the excitement of planning and hosting a memorable summer solstice party, where laughter, music, and meaningful connections take center stage.
So, as the sun reaches its zenith and nature beckons us to revel in its splendor, let’s embark on this summer adventure together.
The Energy of Summer
Summer arrives with a unique energy, enveloping us in warmth and vibrancy. It’s a season that invites us to celebrate the abundance of light, embrace growth, and nurture gratitude. Summer gifts us longer days and bright sunlight, encouraging us to step outdoors and soak in its radiance. The extended daylight hours naturally gives us more energy to do more activities.
Just as farmers tend to their crops in summer, we can harness the energy of the season to work diligently towards our goals. It’s a time for sowing seeds of effort, knowing that we will reap the rewards in due course. Summer is inspiring me to dig in on projects, cultivate new skills, and make progress towards my 2023 goals. But also summer is an important time to reflect on our personal growth and progress. Rather than work-work-work, we need to take time to appreciate the journey and the milestones you’ve achieved so far.
And in other things anti-hustle-culture, Summer invites us to embrace our playful side and engage in activities that bring us joy. Summer’s energy is all about embracing the light, nurturing growth, and cultivating gratitude. It’s a season that calls us to indulge in the joys it brings, work towards our dreams, and appreciate our journey.
Living Intentionally with the Season
I’ve found so much joy in aligning my life with the energy and rhythms of the season so far in 2023. Living intentionally with the summer invites us to cultivate meaningful relationships, practice gratitude, and prioritize rest. Here’s how I plan to fully embrace the richness of this season and create a fulfilling summer experience.
- Nurturing Relationships: Summer is the height of community and connection. I want to take advantage of the longer days and pleasant weather to plan gatherings, barbecues, or picnics outdoors. I also want to plan some activities that foster togetherness, such as beach outings, river floats, hiking adventures, or simply sharing a meal under the stars.
- Cultivating Gratitude: As I mentioned earlier, Summer offers a plethora of opportunities to appreciate the abundance around us. I’m making a summer gratitude list. In my journal, I’m writing a single line of what I was grateful for each day. It can be as simple as a refreshing breeze or as “serious” as completing a project. By consciously acknowledging the blessings summer brings, I hope to deepen my sense of appreciation and joy.
- Indulging in Ripe Fruits and Rest: Summer is synonymous with the harvest of delicious, ripe fruits. (Hello, Blackberry Season, my truest love) I’ll be incorporating seasonal fruits into my diet, to nourish my body and give me some additional joy. Additionally, I know I need to remember to prioritize rest and relaxation during this energetic season. Nature naturally encourages us to enjoy lazy afternoons, where you can recharge your energy through the practice of napping. I’m not usually a nap person, but I’m going to try embracing short rejuvenating naps to fuel me with the high energy needed to fully experience summer.
Celebrating the Season
The party that started it all: Summer Solstice! Just a week before the solstice last year, a spontaneous idea sparked within me to host a gathering in celebration of summer. Little did I know that this was my weary body’s cry for help. I was yearning for connection, celebration, and rejuvenation, unable to see the forest through the very busy trees. With the invaluable assistance of my co-host, Becki, the party unfolded magnificently, igniting a newfound interest in seasonal living.
Last year, we called our gathering “Drinks & Desserts.” We provided a delightful selection of beverages to make summer spritzes with and invited guests to bring their favorite desserts for a potluck table. Building upon the success of that event, this year we hosted “coastal cowgirl” themed celebration. With a relaxed dress code, bonfire, and surprise takeaways, it made for the perfect backyard summer soirée theme.
We encouraged guests to dress comfortably in bohemian-style and/or cowgirl-esque outfits, evoking a sense of carefree summer living. As Texans, you can bet the cowboy boots were a plenty. Our playlist combined the best of girl-country, 70’s soft rock, and beach-approved tines.
For our food and beverage, we kept it a bit simpler than last year. I kept it simple with a s’mores station and a juice + liquor bar cart. And as a playful touch, we ordered “Let’s Go Girl” drink pouches inspired by Shania Twain’s iconic song, adding a delightful twist to the beverage containers.
I always like to have my guests walk away with some sort of memorable favor that is useful beyond the drive home. This year, Becki and I brainstormed a “Take What You Need” affirmation cork board. The cork board was adorned with cards featuring affirmations centered around the themes of summer. Guests could choose the uplifting message (celebrating light, energy, success, abundance, nourishment, and creativity) that resonated with them as a meaningful takeaways. I encouraged everyone to put them on their mirror at home and let them serve as an affirmation for the summer season.
Hosting a seasonal party on the summer solstice gave me a great opportunity to work on one of my seasonal living goals: nurturing relationships. And this celebration has only made me more excited for my autumn equinox party, now to start dreaming up some concepts! So far I’ve been leaning towards a soup exchange, self-care day, or a candle-making party. Which would you love to attend?
As we savor the remaining days of summer, let’s continue to carry the spirit of seasonal living with us. Remember that embracing the essence of each season doesn’t have to be an arduous task or require adhering to woo-woo spiritual practices that don’t resonate with you. It’s about finding joy in the simple moments, aligning our lives with the rhythms of nature, and nurturing ourselves and our relationships. Whether it’s taking leisurely walks in nature, enjoying outdoor picnics, or basking in the warmth of the sun, let’s make the most of the vibrant energy that summer offers.
And our journey doesn’t end here. As the seasons gradually transition and autumn awaits on the horizon, we can eagerly anticipate “The Autumn Harvest.” In the upcoming season, I’m excited to delve into exploring the richness and abundance of autumn, reflect on my personal growth, and prepare to gather the fruits of my labors.