“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]So much has happened this week. Global media and the Internet hardly know where to turn because the amount of excitement, and in some cases concern, is overwhelming. We do well to focus on one thing at a time and this week has seen the country grapple with issues of race and symbolism, healthcare, affordable housing (hope that one didn’t sneak past you) and marriage equality. We’ve been so very busy with what’s going on in our own country that we’ve largely ignored anything happening elsewhere. Greece appears to be going into default. The self-proclaimed Islamic State killed dozens in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait. China has been selling 40-year-old meat. The Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian State. This has not been the quiet summer week I had anticipated when we started on Sunday.
In fact, if this is how the summer is going to start, I’m rather fearful of where we might go next. Both of the really big Supreme Court rulings have been handled now. There’s no more good news left to immediately anticipate. Should we be setting ourselves up to deal with disaster, death, and destruction? Certainly, there are some who are calling for such in the wake of this week’s rulings, but we tend to look upon those as extreme views, and, like almost everything Americans say, we don’t actually expect anyone to follow through on those threats.
Summer is that time we want to just live in the moment, not worry about what happened yesterday or might happen tomorrow, but throw caution to the wind and enjoy what is happening right now. Certainly, we need those moments. We need a lot of those moments. Our minds do not respond well to this constant overflow of information and we desperately need and long for days where the valve is shut off for a few minutes and we can just soak up the sun and give our minds time to process. If we keep going at full tilt, then we put our health and perhaps even our lives in danger. Stress kills and has a large arsenal of weapons at its disposal. [/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]At some point in the future, maybe ten or even twenty years from now, we might look back on this summer and remember something, but what will it be? Will this week’s SCOTUS decisions be the highlight? For those directly affected by the outcome, perhaps so. I have friends from high school who were quite anxious about applying for a marriage license yesterday. For the rest of us, though, there remain several weeks of summer where we might still find even more monumental events. If so, I do hope they are happy ones.
Not everyone gets happy summer memories. Another friend’s father died today, rather unexpectedly. I don’t have to wonder how he’ll remember this summer. The obituary page is never empty and for every name listed there is someone whose summer has been devastated. So it is with every summer. Some win. Some lose. Some are fortunate if they come out even. Kat’s little ones might remember this as the summer of their first garden. Some will remember this as the summer of the great floods, while others remember the severe droughts, dramatic water rationing, and life-threatening heat. Everyone’s experience is different and everyone’s memory unique, even when it’s faulty.
So, perhaps it best that we end this week of summertime joys with a moment of reflection, looking back on all that has happened this week and pondering what might yet come down the road. If you are lucky, perhaps you can do that pondering while sitting on the end of a springboard, dangling your feet in a pool. Maybe you can have the moment of reflection while sitting in the shade of a great tree or snuggling with a pet. Whatever your situation, take a moment to turn off the intake valve and rest. There’s still a whole lot of summer left to enjoy.[/one_half_last]