Summer is the season of childhood. Do you remember when you were little, and summer meant unadulterated freedom? It was your God-given right to do nothing but run through sprinklers, ride your bike for hours, or take trips to the beach. It meant two months out of the year when you got to shrug your shoulders of all of those heavy responsibilities known as school and homework and just focus on having fun. It meant campfires and staying up late and fireworks on Canada Day.
Now, summer means something a whole lot different for me. It echoes with the jubilation of childhood freedom, with that long ago promise of endless sun-drenched possibilities, but it is no longer my God-given right to explore those possibilities. Now, it is up to me to wrest summer into my life with both hands. It is up to me to fight for it, for the right to swim in lakes and get lost in parks and go on road trips unencumbered by nagging thoughts of responsibilities left behind. Now, I am an adult, and a break from responsibility is no longer seen as my inalienable right.
But I firmly believe that summer is a time of rejuvenation and adventure. Summer is the time to grab life with both hands, to kick yourself out of doors and do a little living. Even if society as a whole doesn’t believe that I need to do those things, I know in my heart that I do. I know that when I take the time to step away from the sweet drudgery of every day life and into the myriad possibilities of summer, I come away a more whole, rested, engaged, passionate person. When I am allowed to nurture the adventurous spirit, the child-like sense of wonder, that still lives inside of me, I come back to my normal life ready to rock it.
Too many of us lay down and blithely accept the idea that being an adult means a loss of freedom, a piling on of soul-sucking duties, and an inability to do anything about it. But I say nay. I say grab the spirit of summer, the season of childhood, by the horns and ride it off into the sunset. Shake off the bonds of this debilitating belief: go to an area of your city that you’ve never been to before and explore it; try something a little bit crazy that you never thought you would, like stand up paddle boarding; simply drive out into the country, with no destination in mind. When was the last time you rode a bike just for fun, or drew a picture with sidewalk chalk? Go out, have an adventure, see how it enriches your soul.
I’ll wait over here, lazing on my balcony in the summer sunshine, beer in one hand, book in the other.