Summer officially began on Wednesday with the Summer Solstice. With the Summer comes warmer weather, humidity, outdoor activities and events, Summer reading, vacation days, less meetings, a more relaxed schedule, and a time to catch up with family and friends. I love the Summer in New York and choose to stay in the city preferring to take my vacations at other times.
There is something more relaxed, less scheduled, and more spontaneous about the Summer months that enables easier conversations, allows for catching up with friends and acquaintances over drinks and meals, and encourages you to explore your world more. Maybe it is something to do with the warmer temperatures and humidity, the languid days of Summer, that encourages you to go at a different pace and to enjoy the opportunities of the moment. I really enjoy catching up with friends over the Summer when schedules are less filled and there are less meetings to attend. It is a time to plan visits to family and friends out of town. But it is also a time for conversations after church or in your building or neighborhood when people are less rushed or pressed for time. I like the sense of having more “quality people time” over the Summer.
Summer is a time for enjoying the outdoors: for garden parties and rooftop entertaining; for strolls in or just sitting in the gardens and parks of the city; for Summer walks in the woods or by the ocean; and for swimming at the beach or nearby pool.
Summer is also a good time to catch up on some relaxing reading. It is the time when I indulge myself with crime fiction and the latest Australian fiction. I brought back a bunch of recently published Australian books in February and hope to read them over the next couple of months.
But the word that characterizes summer for me is recreation. Whether or not we take our vacations during the summer, the slower pace and the particular opportunities of the Summer months enable us to do things that refresh us and in fact re-create us. Recreation is an important spiritual process as we enter into the wonderful mystery of God’s creative process in which we share through baptism. St Paul reminds us that “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). Think of your summer time as one of being refreshed, renewed and re-created by God’s creative and loving Spirit. Have a good and re-creative Summer.