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The FUSE Woman -- "Where Form & Spirit Become One"
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"Summer Time, and the livin' is easy, fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high." George Gershwin's immortal lyrics from "Porgy and Bess" seem to sum it all up. Summer is the season of promises fulfilled, a time of growth, development, fulfillment, and perfection. Watching a bee flitting happily from flower to flower, is viewing Nature at her best; and Nature saves some of her best performances for summer.
When someone is asked the outcome of and activity, and they reply, "it was a day at the beach," you know things went well. Of course, you can visit the beach at anytime of year; but, the warm water and warm sand are far more beckoning in summer. Even gloomy Edgar Allan Poe once wrote that "sound revels on a summer night." Having grown up in New Jersey, where the nights are very warm and very humid, I experienced many beautiful nights of swimming in sultry moonlit lakes and listening to the wild things bouncing through the woods. Lying in the fragrant grass and gazing at the stars, in the warm embrace of a summer night, is one of life's exquisite gifts.
Summer is a season of freedom. I remember chanting when school let out for summer, "no more rulers, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks!" When school resumed in the fall, the very first question was, "what did you do this summer?" Summer brings "a place in the sun." "A place in the sun" is traditionally considered "a prominent or favorable position."
May your summer truly be "a place in the sun."
This is the time of year when the light stretches, our days are longer, our evenings sweeter, the heat hotter. There is, literally, more light in our lives.
I have strong visceral memories of this time of year from my childhood – the smell of freshly cut grass, warming in the sun; the woody smell of tanbark on the playground; the whoops of freedom from kids tromping up and down our cul-de-sac with nothing but the expansive time
of summer ahead of us. It was glorious.
Now, as an adult, I don’t necessarily have all those same indicators of summer, but the light remains an indisputable nod to the delight of summer time. With more light, there seems to simply be morepossibilities – more clarity and illumination of that which is important to us and the perception of more hours in a day to devote to these important facets.
Instead of just a later bedtime (I’m lucky if I make it to what was probably my 8th grade bedtime of 10p), light has come to resemble potential, hope, and aliveness — concepts that don’t quite make it on the radar of most eight year-olds hanging upside down from the monkey bars. But they have emerged in my adult years.
Where spring brings the start of something new – planting and tending the seed – summer is when we cultivate those seeds. This year, cultivation comes in the form of nurturing relationships that bring joy, letting go of ones that do not, stretching my comfort zone boundaries, and being willing to risk without certainty of reward.
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This requires shining light on things we don’t often look at, like relationships or habits that have stopped serving us. What might be the new relationships or new habits that will continue to move us forward in the life we are cultivating, tending to, and growing?
These can be serious questions, but they can also be ones that release us from the dark corners we’ve painted ourselves into over the course of our years. Sometimes, it’s the extra light of summer that makes it possible to see that which we have let settle into the dark and make new, conscious decisions.
What are you cultivating in the light of summer?