I hate to break the news, but summer is half over, and except for a few brief warm spells, it just arrived. Waking up here in Tacoma to another morning of fog and fifty degrees, in mid-July, just isn't right. But now it sounds like maybe summer's really here at last. How do you plan to savor it?
Summer should be like a cat stretched out full-length on a sunny porch: long, warm, and lazy. I could be wrong, but it seemed like my childhood summers on Vashon Island were all three of those things. Every year I try to recapture that feeling of summer, a kind of permission to let go, to slow down, to read more, to fill the house with flowers, to sit just sit on that sunny porch and pet the cat.
If you think back on your own memories of a perfect summer day, it's always the little things that come to mind. So here are a few reminders of the kinds of moments that make the magic and how you can enjoy them before they are gone.
1.) Begin your day right. Take a walk, or at least open a window and listen to the birds. Really listen. These are your neighbors so get to know them. If you want to learn who's singing what out there, look at the website for Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology. That resource alone, could keep you entertained for the rest of the season.
2. Enjoy flowers. Harvest some lavender. Visit the gardens at Point Defiance Park, where the hydrangeas are now in their glory along with many other colorful blooms. Even the roses still look and smell wonderful, thanks to the cool weather. If you haven't visited the park's rose garden, don't you think it's about time? It's been there for over a century.
3.)Eat local and eat well. Those fresh berries won't be around forever. Check out the 2010 Puget Sound Farm Guide for locations and hours of local farms, farmers markets, and U-picks. Eating local makes me think of produce, but a friend of mine coming "home" to Vashon from Hawaii on vacation this summer, asked where he could get fresh, local EDIBLE JELLY FISH. Sorry, but I can't help you on that one. I must admit, though, that when I was a kid waiting for my turn to jump off the float at Dockton Park during swimming lessons, some of those stinging blobs of slime did look a little like raw eggs. There's a reason why Vashon has a "Strawberry Festival" and not a "Jellyfish Festival." Good grief. He's been away too long.
4.) Appreciate the beauty around you. Take a walk this evening, maybe down on the waterfront. Breathe in the marine air, listen to the seagulls, and let all your concerns ease away. Nature soothes like nothing else
5.) Chill out.
All photos and text copyrighted by Candace Brown 2010