School is done for the year, my children are home, the backpacks have been emptied out, stored away, and are, happily, out of sight! Hooray for summer! May and June were so unbelievably hectic, I had forgotten how blissful unstructured summer days at home could be.
I spent 2 whole days in the vegetable garden - no guilt at not being somewhere else, no rushing into the shower to get ready for a meeting - just time to dig and weed and plant and dream of the great tastes to come. Then there were days of just puttering - wandering around the house and yard doing lots of those little annoying chores that I had been pretending to ignore for what felt like forever. And then there was the big garden bed redesign project - the one I had been dreading because it required lots of hard, physical labor. But my family pitched in and got me started, and I remembered another great thing about summer - do a little bit each day and, before you know it, you've done a lot!
So, thanks to my son and my husband, the big, overgrown shrub and its ugly shrub neighbor have been removed, stumps and all. The stones and weed barrier fabric are disappearing more each day, and my vision for the new flowers and plants is beginning to take shape. If I keep it up, I may even get around to painting that room I've been telling myself to paint for the last 4 years! Hooray for summer, indeed!
While getting all of these projects done is great, I feel the most wonderful thing about summer is the chance to stop and take a breath. I don't mean a wussy little half-hearted inhale. I mean a deep, suck the air way down into your belly breath - you know the of breath that blows the cobwebs right out of your brain. The big, slow, cleansing breath that re-energizes your body and reminds you that you have a heart full of love. The kind of breath that makes you feel like you're 15 pounds lighter and stand 2 inches taller. The kind of breath that roots you firmly to the ground while allowing your spirit to soar to great heights.
I LOVE those breaths. They make me feel that anything is possible - no goal is too lofty, no hurdle is too high, no problem unsolvable, and no cloud is without a silver lining. So why don't I take those energizing, cleansing breaths more often throughout the year? I think I just get so busy, I don't make the time - which is really silly, since it only takes a minute to do. Or maybe I'm so busy that I just forget. Or maybe the breaths don't seem as important as all of my "real" work, so I push them aside for later...which never comes.
I've decided it's time to breathe as though my life depended on it. I will breathe in peace and joy, and breathe out stress and anxiety. I will breathe in love and hope, and breathe out anger and disappointment. I will breathe in positive energy, and breathe out negative self-talk. I will breathe and breathe and remind my children to do the same. Hopefully, I'll keep breathing right through the winter this year and, next year, I'll find more to love about summer.
Until then, I invite you to slow down for a minute or 2 and breathe a deep, deep, cleansing breath. Sigh.....doesn't that feel good?