I remember a school assignment to write a paper about “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”. There would be a lot of excitement and anxiety about sharing this in front of the class as each student would think about what to share. Some I think would struggle with truth telling. As a child I knew others would have stories of grand vacations, some to other countries and some to great parks where they would camp out in tents and have amazing adventures. At the time I would be a bit envious of these kids who had great stories to tell.
My memory banks have stashed away in an unknown space which stories I shared with my peers, but they also hold some of the best stories that grew me into who I am now. I know that these would probably not be the tales I shared at the time but as an adult they hold the glow of fun and adventure, they are worthy of remembering.
I remember walking through a rushing creek on slippery rocks with my cousins, then catching minnows in the calmer pools of water to use for bait to fish. For a girl whose backyard was a parking lot, this was an amazing adventure! I had summers with family in Vermont and Connecticut where endless green hills and deep pine woods called me to explore. I swam in an icy lake whose true depth is still a mystery. There were battles with mosquitoes and leeches and bike rides up hills so high my legs ached for days afterward. There were times alone in the woods that I heard a silence that completely overwhelmed me. The beginning of summer was marked by a “sugaring off party” when Grandma pulled saved snow from the freezer, boiled the new spring maple syrup from my uncles farm and poured the golden hot sweetness over the snow. Sisters and cousins drooled with anticipation sitting around the table with forks to roll up the candy out of long tin pans. The bonus were the home made donuts and pickles that Grandma made to balance the mouth watering sweetness.
Summer begins this week and so I think about the intentions I have for this time. As an adult I can choose. So I choose to find adventure in teaching yoga, battle mosquitoes at camp, hike a few hills and look everywhere for the sweetness of relationships with family and friends. I will spend time with grandchildren enjoying catching fireflies, looking at stars and playing chase in the grass. I will reflect on past and present as I take in every moment. Growth is born of our reflections and intentions.
May your summer be blessed with the adventures of the everyday.