"Every moment of light and darkness is a miracle." - Walt Whitman
The beauty of late summer is a mystical time. The heat rages, the crops wither and the harvest grows near. Wildlife hums in the cool of the morning and at dusk, trying to scavenge a morsel while avoiding the blistering mid-day swelter. Cool pools of water offer the only relief from the heat, and as the dog days drag on, they begin to dry up.
At least this is the late summer saga in Texas.
Despite the hotness, it is important to take time to appreciate the moment. Every moment. Any moment. This moment.
Sure, it's hot. But look around at the beauty and energy that is alive all around. If it has been a while since you have spent some time outdoors, here are some suggestions of magical ways to experience the beauty of late summer.
- Experience the cool stillness of the early morning- Wake up before the sun and step outside with your favorite warm beverage. Quiet, cool, and fresh, this is the awakening of a new day. Experience the ultimate moment to take a deep breathe, and remind yourself that yesterday and tomorrow do not matter. Only today matters. It is a gift. Embrace it and set your intention to live it to the fullest.
- Exercise in the early morning air- Before 9am, at least here in Texas, the temperature is tolerable outdoors. It's not cold. In fact it can be a bit humid, but it is cool and breezy compared to the mid-day swelter. Do your body a favor and go for a brisk walk. Do some pull-ups, sit-up, squats, and dips at a nearby park. Feeling a little dewy? Take a turn on the swings. Morning air whizzing past you as you fly though the air is not only natural air-conditioning, but it's bound to make you smile.
- Watch the sunset- This is so simple and yet such a powerful way to slow down. Sip a cool beverage with a loved one and watch the watercolor sky as another day elegantly closes. Feel the peace of this moment. Drink it in.
- Take a walk at dusk- Dusk is an amazing time. The temperature begins to cool. The searing of the sun is through and it's easy to take a short stroll and feel the day turn to night against your skin.
- Throw down a blanket and gaze at the stars- This may sound cliche, but when is the last time you tried it? Get a blanket so you can lay flat on the ground. Now just lay their and breathe. Get lost in the sky. Gain perspective on all the issues weighing on your troubled mind. All those glistening gems in a sea of black have a way of making problems seem less overwhelming.
Resist the urge to blow these suggestions off as silly, childish or frivolous. In this busy world we all benefit from getting back in touch with nature even in the smallest ways. Perhaps you don't have a meditation practice, a workout routine, or a daily date with your spouse, but you could. Use this simple list and incorporate as many as you can. Do them all in on day one or just pick a few to scatter through the week.
My promise is that if you try these you will experience a miniature vacation. Feel a bit calmer. Breathe a bit deeper. Experience gratitude for this moment even on the balmiest September day.