The groaning has begun. “Summer is almost over, I can’t believe it, and it’s gone so fast.” That’s what I hear almost every day now from clients. They are grieving summer’s end. But what is it that they are grieving for? I think it’s the feeling we get from experiencing summer. Feelings that only summertime may offer to the heart and soul of our life.
Hopefully summer gives us the opportunity to step outside of our day to day life, experiencing new people and maybe some new places. It may be one of the only times of the year that we shake off our responsibilities, loosen up and have adventures that renew us, giving us that ability to face the return of our life in the fall. I love to hear about people’s summer experiences because they hold such incredible memories; memories that sustain us for many years in life.
I especially love one story that I never seem to tire of hearing. A friend of mine who lives on one of the lakes in Marlboro often speaks about how he came to live on that lake. His grandmother owned a lakeside cottage that he would go to in the summers with his Mom, Dad and siblings when he was a kid. (Did I say he’s now in his 60”s, well, he is.) As his parents lives changed, they headed less and less to the cottage, which saddened him because of his attachment to the place. That’s when Grandma stepped in and this is the part that makes me teary.
He tells me that when school would get out at the end of the year, he’d tear home on his bike, grab his little suitcase which he had already packed and go sit out on his front steps, waiting with such anticipation for his grandmother to arrive. ( I love this vision.) She’d drive up, he’d run down the steps and hop into the car, ready for his summer on the lake. He gets that faraway look in his eyes every time he talks about it. The memory of her coming around the corner, the longing he had to go spend his summer on the lake, swimming, boating, fishing and just being there with her, sends that rush of positive, loving memories through his body, mind and spirit; that experience still holding its’ grip, sustaining him in such a beautiful way. Now he is about to become a grandfather and you can bet he’ll be making new memories with his grandson at the lake for many years to come. He ended up buying the property and has lived there raising his own family.
When I was a teenager, I was so incredibly fortunate to go spend a couple of weeks each summer with my cousins in Ipswich, MA. They had a summer cottage in an area where there was a wonderful group of teens all around the same age. During the day we would go out in the boat, swim in the ocean, maybe picnic at Crane’s Beach or Plum Island and we could do it day after day, hour after hour. At night we would meet up after dinner and walk the hills, just being with each other, goofing, laughing and feeling in those moments that there was nothing better in life than being with each other. There was always a few summer love affairs that would change year to year, which always added that extra edge of excitement to being there. They still own the cottage. It’s exactly the same. It doesn’t need to be torn down and replaced with a million dollar home. It is perfect. The memories are irreplaceable. Having that summer experience was one of my key motivators for buying our own cottage in the Berkshires. My place to build memories with my family and a place for personal renewal as well.
I am hoping that you also have experiences, places, people that give you that warm, dreamy feeling when you think back on them; experiences that give you that faraway look in your eyes. It’s not about having money to take extreme vacations. These experiences can happen anywhere that there is a deep connection with nature; where the sounds, the smells, the waters and mountains sustain us with their immeasurable gifts. A place where we can relax deeply, play joyfully, or connect lovingly with a friend, a lover, an aunt or uncle, brother or sister, or maybe with a grandparent who loves you just as much as you love them.