Why Bother Enjoying The Gift of Summertime?
Time, I believe, is a gift and I think summertime is the best present of all. It gets lighter earlier, around 3:00 a.m., and the sky’s luminescence lingers longer into the night than I am able to stay awake. The air temperature equals that of my body, making it pleasant to spend more time outside than in. And summertime is the only time I’m not constrained and limited by going off to work in a classroom.
In some ways, my regular daily routine doesn’t change too much from fall to winter to summer. My energy level is much higher in the a.m. than in the p.m. making me an early riser, and my need to exercise still exists. The summer though, affords more time to do more of what I love, yoga. With a work schedule, I’m limited to yoga on the weekends. The summertime calendar, on the other hand, opens up more opportunities. I can take a midday class on a Monday or to teach an early morning class in my driveway on a Tuesday. Without limited time, my choices are unlimited.
Summertime affords lingering over breakfast. I still fix my usual veggie omelet and sit down to eat. My space though, is different. I might sit on the front porch stoop, plate in hand while reading the newspaper in my lap. Or I may take myself out the back door to sit at the picnic table and watch the birds at my feeder. In other words, I am not restricted to sitting at the kitchen table gobbling down eggs in order to leave the house at a certain hour. Instead, I can pour myself one more cup of coffee and sit and sip a little while longer.
In the summertime I do not commute. I do not have to buckle myself into my car, adhere to the speed limit and drive twenty minutes to work. Instead, my bike becomes the main mode of transportation. I live a short distance from Farmers Market, the yoga studio, the gym and the library, my main summer destination points. Summertime is the only time I have the pleasure, joy and liberty of leaving my car in the garage. Using my bike to get from point A to point B means I get to skip the frequent stops at the gas station and enjoy the slower means of travel.
I could spend hours reading and that is exactly what I allow myself to do during summer break. I spread a blanket and pillow out on the lawn, open a novel and wade through my favorite genre: historical fiction. Summertime is the only time allotted for such a luxury as reading the day away.
One of the natural traits of a teacher is that they are always learning something new. This summer I decided to find out more about the small farming industry. I purchase fresh produce and eggs each week from a couple who own and operate a small farm. Their motto is, “Know your farmer better than your physician.” I’ve taken them up on that challenge and for a few hours each week volunteer at their twenty-five acre farmstead. I don’t expect to master the art of growing anything. I will get to know my farmer better than my physician though.
Why bother enjoying the gift of summertime? It is worth noting that we all have the same amount of time each day. Sometimes though, when unconstrained, it becomes a gift.