Summer. I not only love that word purely for the way it sounds when it rolls off my tongue, but I love that word because it represents fun. Kids get nearly three months off from school and parents seize this opportunity to take the whole family on extended vacation, provided their jobs allow for lengthy time off. Summer brings people together. The sunshine and the longer days allow for more activity. The parks fill up with families having picnics and barbeques; The lakes are busy with boaters, skiers and campers; Beaches are covered with sunbathers, while the rivers get their fair share of action with kayakers, and white water rafters. Just the thought of all this summer activity awakens my senses. I can hear the children laughing and screaming in delight as I imagine them running around in the park chasing each other with a game of tag. I can hear the hum of the motors and the waves of the water splashing against the boats. I can smell the freshness of the river water, and I can feel the warmth of the sun on my skin as I imagine myself lying in the sand on the beach. Yes, summer represents fun and brings about nostalgic longings.
These thoughts and feelings repeat themselves through all countries and cultures, throughout the northern hemisphere and the southern, from north to south, east to west, wherever people have grown up and moved away from their childhoods. The colors that remind us are different; muted beige of the desert or the aggressive greens of the rain forest and the smells may be of olive trees versus eucalyptus but the feelings that the heat of summer brings are the same the world over. The same promise of heat saturated, lazy days running barefoot across hot stone. The anticipation of hot dogs cooked on the grill and iced watermelon giving us feelings reminiscent of youth, this is what summer represents.
Every year when summer arrives it brings with it a sense of renewal. I say renewal because it gives people something to look forward to; A week or two off from the hum drum of their daily lives, a destination to travel to. Although it’s different for each individual, I’m certain that most people look forward to having a little summer fun. How can the sunshine not bring about good feeling? It’s a natural mood enhancer and if you are out in the sun you absorb one of the most important nutrients that your body needs to function properly, Vitamin D. Dress in sunscreen, get out there in the sun and heat and play.