What Makes Summertime Special?

When I was a boy living outside Chicago, I loved it when hundreds and hundreds of lightning bugs flickered in the dark night and my friends and I tried to catch a couple in a jar. I relished walking in the woods with my dog, plucking snacks from an apple tree and conjuring adventures of far-away places. Most of my days were spent swimming at a nearby pool and evenings lying in the grass, listening to the leaves twinkling in the trees. Those were lazy days of summer—when I was too young for a summer job and I could let my mind just wander. When September rolled around and the new school year was coming, it always hit me hard, jolted awake from a good dream. 

Summertime as an adult is different, of course—a chance to travel, spend more time with my children when they’re out of school, use quieter work days to plot and plan, get up at dawn for an early morning swim, celebrate life with handfuls of fresh, cheap blueberries, buy frozen yogurt on hot summer nights, embrace the heat by driving with the windows down and the music blaring. 

That’s just me. Simple things still hold sway. I try to remember to shift gears, let life slow down, watch the clouds float by. These days, when the world feels like it’s slipped off its axis with the drumbeat of bad news, it usually requires my wife to remind me—scold me—to turn off my phone and take it easy. 

What about you? What makes your summertime special? Seems to me mid-July is just the time to share these thoughts and savor the day. I look forward to reading what comes to mind.

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Photo Credit: J.A. Bracchi via Getty Images.