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Summer Speed Zone

Slow down. Savor the longer days. Sit quietly with the sounds of nature.


Writing on the summer solstice, I am spending this first day of the new season savoring the 15-plus hours of sunlight.  It is the longest day and shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere as the North Pole tilts the most toward the sun.


With the sun still high in the sky at what is typically my bedtime, I took my dog for a bonus walk. I was greeted by warm temperatures and neighbors sitting on their porches enjoying the brilliance of the sunset and its breathtaking range of colors. This evening was a reminder to us that we are part of something so much bigger. That all of nature, which includes every living being, is worthwhile. Or, as I like to say, our lives are WorthWild!


I live on a lake in the summer. Driving down the final road before my arrival, I pass a posted sign, “speed zone ahead.” This year I decided to broaden this message beyond driving and make it about a personal and daily intention to live in my own summer speed zone. To slow down, savor the longer days, and sit quietly outdoors with the sounds of nature. Perhaps they will invite me to experience what Gerald May calls the power of slowing. May described this power as a feeling of unity with the world while outdoors and with his own true nature. That everything out there is also within. He made a point of observing his surroundings, showing up and making personal connections to the sights and sounds around him. In this summer season, talk about an opportunity to use these extra hours for me to do the same. 

 

All of us have a kinship and connection with nature. Outside and inside. During my yoga practice today, the teacher reminded us it wasn’t that long ago that our ancestors were living according to the earth’s seasons and cycles.  She noted the significance of the summer solstice and the extra hours of daylight. At the end of the practice during savasana, she invited us to “be with your breath, with your body, with nature.”   With this invitation, I ended the day with a prayer to watch explore my summer’s daily speed zones and the blessings that make each day worthwhile.  

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