Happy last moments of summer! My balcony plants are blooming. The sunsets every evening are glorious. Schools are still out and folks are relishing this last sweet summer month.
For many like myself, it’s a time of focused rejuvenation in preparation for the next school year: savoring an ice cream cone down to the last lick, staying up late to enjoy warm late night breezes, dipping our toes in water, laughing, hiking, BEING.
As a self-proclaimed ‘doer,’ my summer practice has been to just ‘be.’ With less to do in the summer months, I always find the peace a bit challenging. In a few short weeks it’ll be crazy busy again. But my ‘to do’ list today? Appreciate the present.
Many years ago I participated a yearlong series of Courage to Teach retreats. An essay by Parker Palmer was given to us before our summer retreat in which he wrote:
“Summer is the season when all promissory notes of autumn and winter and spring come due, and each year the debts are repaid with compound interest. In summer it is hard to remember we ever doubted the natural process, had ever ceded death the last word, had ever lost faith in the powers of new life. Summer is a reminder that our faith is not nearly as strong as the things we profess to have faith in – a reminder that, for this single season at least, we might cease our anxious machinations and give ourselves to the abiding and abundant grace of our common life.”
“We might cease our anxious machinations…” A good reminder for me. My own lesson this summer is an inner lesson. I am whispering to myself to be in the moment.
Enjoy fresh raspberries and fresh strawberries and summer walks at dusk.
Be woken up by birds and not the alarm. As Mary Oliver says, “Be idle and blessed.”
Savor the season. Be, fully. Soak up every last drop of the summer’s stillness and start your year on a full tank.
About Jennifer Abrams
Formerly a high school English teacher and a new teacher coach, Jennifer Abrams is currently a communications consultant who works with educators and others on new teacher and employee support, being generationally savvy, effective collaboration skills, having hard conversations and creating identity safe workplaces. Jennifer’s publications include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicate, Collaborate & Create Community and Hard Conversations Unpacked - the Whos, Whens and What Ifs. Her upcoming book is tentatively titled Swimming in the Deep End: Leadership Skills for Aspiring, Emerging and Current Educational Leaders. Jennifer was one of the “18 Women All K-12 Educators Should Know” featured in the blog ‘Finding Common Ground’’ from Education Week and has also been awarded the International Educational Entrepreneur Award by the International Academy for Educational Entrepreneurs.