Well, I have to admit, this post has been a long time coming.
The Summer Solstice was two weeks ago now… And we’ve been lucky enough to see the kind of long sunny days which draw you outside and encourage you to stay there.
So, here is the follow up to my March post in which I thought about Spring words.
Welcome to Summer, everyone.
One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.
― Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle
Summer is a season of extremes.
My children, both August babies, love the heat of the Summer months – a feeling which is no doubt heightened by the time away from school. I know of many others who find this time oppressive and exhausting. Dragging yourself into an office with no air conditioning, witnessing summer passing by through the window, seems to me the essence of an adulthood which has let so many of us down.
So, here are those words which come to mind when I’m thinking about summer.
You know it’s bright when you open the front door to go outside and reach for your sunglasses.
Or when you’re woken in the morning with the sun blazing through the smallest cracks in the blinds, fissures which still create enough light that you know there’ll be no more sleeping.
But it’s not just the sun which is bright, it’s the colours too… The blue of the sky in summer is different to any other time of year, it’s just more blue. The trees are full of leaves, with different shades of green telling the wildlife their own stories. There are reds and whites, blues and purples, the roses and lavender giving us bursts of colour and scent; it’s a technicolour brightness which seems to scream “Summer”.
I believe the power of the phrase ‘summer holiday’ comes from it’s tie to our earliest memories.
From the moment we start school a longing for summer is created, those precious months away from school are our goal whenever attendance in class feels too much of a burden. And as the year progresses, and the rooms become stifling, the days get counted down with a promise of freedom.
Alongside the freedom, this time away from school serves as a milestone by which to measure another year. We’re growing older, and maybe wiser, with each passing summer.
I can still remember those first summers once schooling was over. There was a feeling that adulthood was letting me down when I realised I was now expected to keep attending even through those summer months.
Of course, summer holidays don’t just happen at school. Getting away, or having a break, is a part of summer for many of us. Having time off, and taking life that little bit easier… Lovely.
Whether it’s the splashing of waves, an ice-cube in a glass, or even the impact of water balloons in the garden, splashing is an essential part of fun in the sun.
My sun-loving children are never happier than when they’re playing with water – they love jumping in a swimming pool or causing havoc with a water gun.
I’m happier enjoying the sounds of water, and the kids playing, as I take time out to read a book (in my dreams).
There’s something amazing about the promise of water to cool when the world is hot and sticky – there’s a lot to be said for splashing about.
I wasn’t sure whether to include this in my list, because the word itself – alfresco – seems quite outdated.
It’s here though because no other word evokes quite the same thoughts and feelings – and those are an essential part of my summer. As soon as the weather turns warm, the opportunities for outdoor eating increase.
I can’t think of any outdoor eating I don’t like…
- Fish and Chips by the beach
- Pub gardens
- Ice creams in the park
You can see why alfresco had to be on the list!
Again, the words I’ve picked tend to evoke positive feelings (in me at least); maybe for you summer is stifling, sticky, dry or exhausting. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Why don’t you tell me, which words make you think of Summer?