Last year at this time, I wrote about some easy ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice, or the first official day of summer (June 21). It is also known as the “longest” day of the year because it has the greatest number of daylight hours than any other day of the year.
As I wrote then, for me, summer is all about the food, or, specifically, about the fresh produce of the season including watermelon, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, and peaches, plums and nectarines.
But, summer offers more than just great food. The longer days and warmer weather seem to make it mandatory to spend time outdoors. Here are some more simple ways to connect to the slower rhythm of summer and enjoy the season.
- Create your own summer movie “festival” right in your own backyard. Our smart phones, tablets, and laptops make it so easy to watch films any time and anywhere. You can have a special “themed” summer film series, choosing your own favorite themes and movies. For me, baseball movies represent summer, and some of my favorites that I always watch include Bull Durham, The Natural, A League of Their Own, and Field of Dreams.
- Have a summer potluck. Unlike potlucks during the winter months, this one can be held outdoors, and can include a picnic, a barbecue or both. If you or your friends and family are gardeners, you can use it as an opportunity to share the summer bounty from your garden.
- If you do grow your own food, another way to share the bounty is to organize a produce exchange. This doesn’t have to be a formal event, but you can host some friends from your garden club or your community garden and swap.
- Play games. We all remember when we were kids and we played every minute we could during our summer vacation. While we might not be as young as we once were, we can still play. Even if those games aren’t necessarily physical, have a “game night” or a series of game nights/game days featuring board games, card games or word games. You can even include some childhood favorites like marbles, jacks, and checkers. If you do feel like getting some exercise, then organize a play “date” with friends and family and go miniature golfing, play Frisbee or croquet, or go on a nature hike together.
- Lastly, I am including an item from last year because I think it is so important, and it is important for me to remind myself to do it. Just take it easy once in awhile and do nothing, by giving yourself some unscheduled time! Just enjoy the warm summer sun, while sitting under a nice shady tree with a nice cool drink, and listening to the sounds of summer while spending some time outdoors.