summer – noun | self–em·ployed | \ˈsə-mər\

: the warmest season of the year that is after spring and before autumn

Summer seems to have snuck into our lives here at the Craig house.

The boys have been out of school for more than a week, but I was traveling and catching up with work, so it wasn’t summer yet for me. And neither Steve nor I get a long break from work during June, July, and August, though we will take a week’s vacation. Just yesterday, I texted a friend this: “I’m trying to protect summer from the busyness! It’s a battle!” And she wholeheartedly agreed. Our boys are in camps and going on trips and hoping for a summer job and planning lots of trips to the pool. And Steve will continue his daily two-hour commute, and I have deadlines. It would be easy to hardly notice summer at all.

Spring and fall are such busy seasons for households with school-aged children, like ours. Winter with its frigid temperatures and frozen pipes and slick roads holds a stress of its own. But summer is like sigh, if we let it be.


And I need it to be. I need backyard fires and garden fresh tomatoes and sitting quietly on the swing in the shade of the backyard. I need the smell of sunscreen and the boom of fireworks and watermelon juice running down my chin. I need to wear my hair in ponytails and feel the sweat trickle down my back. I need to be so hot I have to sit down and drink a glass of iced tea before I can go on. I need to take my work outside some days, when the when the sun isn’t too bright and the wind too strong. And occasionally, I need to set my work aside.

We will walk and hike and bike and run and play and dream and hope. We will work, too. Of course. But we will also rest.

I leave work’s daily rule
And come here to this restful place
Where music stirs the pool
And from high stations of the air
Fall notes of wordless grace,
Strewn remnants of the primal Sabbath’s hymn.
–Wendell Berry, from “Sabbaths – 1979, IV”

Late evening dinners, Saturday morning farmers markets, mid-July blueberry picking, hiking at state parks, reading on the front porch, pulling weeds in the backyard, shooting hoops, eating outside, sleeping in, walking on a faraway beach. We’ll do it all and then some.

Summer is here, and we couldn’t be happier.

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Photo by Cindee Snider Re, via Flickr, used with permission. Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.