Ok, summer. Maybe I don’t actually hate you - maybe it’s just July with whom I have a bone to pick. June plays host to the longest day of the year and there’s something celebratory about that. It feels like an achievement, a goal reached, an ideal attained. Summer! In its full glory! The freedom from school-bound routines, the little bit of spaciousness that past-me cleared out for future-me in order to take off and enjoy some of those lazy days of summer… that was all good. Glorious, even. But also very short-lived.
July just felt like excess: too much heat, too much light, too many waking hours. There’s something to that month that feels like burning out - like the earth has built up its scorchedness, holding onto the heat of the sun, even overnight, never quite cooling off, and it just compounds and grows until everything feels out of balance, manic, and so very sweaty.
Then August arrived, and with it, the reminder that fall is only six weeks away. That blessed season, in which balance is restored. In which the sun recedes, little by little each day, and darkness returns with its invitation to rest. As a kid in school, I remember August feeling like a bonus. Those final weeks of freedom felt sweeter, slower, more luxurious. In the shift to working from home I’ve become more familiar with my neighborhood - taking walks every day to maintain my health and sanity. I’ve come to notice the floral microseasons, the parade of blooms that marches us from spring to fall. In August, the vivaciously audacious Dahlia's begin to decorate those walks. “Dinner Plate Dahlias” are my favorite. They take up so much space! They explode into the world, letting their faces radiate color, and shape, and texture, and beauty. And, they are the last of the blooms to do so. In stark contrast to the low-growing, hollow-stalked, diminutive crocuses of spring, the Dahlias and their late summer counterparts are tough-stalked, water preservers. They blossom as a result of the brutal heat and dryness of this late season.
What can I learn from these audacious blooms? How do I want to show up for these last weeks of the season?
I want to be slow and steady. Resource preserving. Even-keeled. There’s a freedom in knowing that something hard is coming to an end. Even though it is still hot (and now humid - ew), I know that it won't be in a matter of weeks.
Mine is a spirituality of time. A mindfulness of moving through the years, seasons, and micro-seasons and allowing myself to be moved by them. To feel what is available in each one. To harness the learnings and lessons of each moon. Each floral season. Each harvest. This one says: “it’s ok. It’ll all be over soon. Hush, now, and take each moment as it comes to you.”