Chosen Calmness

Melissa DeCastro
Melissa DeCastro

Summer is chosen calmness. Watches abandoned and calendars left open to fill themselves with choices, rather than demands. We welcome the days when we can simply live our lives around given light. This is the season where we most often appreciate what is in ourselves and in our reach. Summer is a reflection of the natural instincts of life.

Peacefulness is a goal. Conversations form naturally without introductions. Commonality is seen and strived for. We look at hats and shirts of those worn around us, and play name games of friends that might be shared or sports triumphs watched. Lines not seen as consuming burdens, but rather groups orderly filed with happy people waiting to enjoy the same chosen favorite place. We smile with accomplishment to bring back our choices to those that still choose to sleep and enjoy the quiet of the morning. New routines unfold, and walks turn into chances to say greetings to children and pets at play whose names are easily remembered.

We understand time. We speak unhurried in pleasant tones, and carefully listen to stories and we hear to comprehend. Families share history and children learn. We treasure the bookstores and enjoy the browse, and treat ourselves to wide varieties of newspapers that might not always be bought. We enjoy the heft and variety of the sections on the weekends. Front pages often allowed to be skimmed on a Sunday in favor of catching up on a reading of a sport or distant destination.

We allow freedom of our schedules and spontaneity is welcomed as a gift. We are together at this time of year. Our drives throughout the year are often alone and mission or meeting driven, with thoughts our only company, but at this time we are given our the presence of others. An idea spoken aloud to look at an overlook marked as scenic is readily agreed upon. New ways explored and compared, and speed and structured plans not the eyed prize.

Weather is accepted without complaint. We look outside instead of minding forecasts, and see what conditions might dictate our day. Sunshine brings the outdoors in its glory, but puddles on a deck and grey skies are welcomed easily, seen as a chance to catch up on what we have been yearning to spend time doing. Hobbies are carefully resurrected from baskets, games found from high shelves on closets, and the unplanned day welcomed.

Time is marked with visits rather than numbers. We look ahead at our summer months as broken into segments of precious days. We note each patriotic holiday, each family gathering or morning pancake fundraiser as part of a whole. We embrace and form traditions.

This is a season of individual enjoyment, not competition. Each is entitled to define happiness. An ocean not to be measured against a mountain, nor a swim to a run. A garden can be tended with care, or a roadside stand loyally supported. At this time of year, we do not compare ourselves or assess choices, but rather we learn to appreciate our use of moments and make time to focus on our own concept of joy.

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