The smell invading the air, wafting from roaring barbeques. Endless lake nights. Ice cream melting down the back of your hand. The explosive red of a fresh, early morning sunrise. Beach days. Sand stuck to your toes. Boat rides. Grass-stained knees. The crisp, cool taste of an IPA. The warm sun pouring over your skin. Road trips. Eating everything outside. Shorts and longboards. Popsicles. Campfires and star blazed nights. Windows down, music up. That new summer jam thumping through the speakers.
Summertime is magic. These are just some of the possible ingredients.
Growing up in Fort McMurray added extra flavour to the mix. The bliss of long, warm evenings--where 10:00 p.m. feels like 4:00 p.m. and the night is just starting. Steaks are on the grill, people are showing up with coolers full. Or at 6:00 a.m. you’re already awake, the sun pouring through your window. You’re even considering a run, which in the middle of January wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of happening. Stupid treadmills.
Warm spring rains start to wash away the grime and mess that winter left behind. To me, THIS is New Years. The flower buds, all the leaves popping out, and warm sunrises—they all scream out new life. An unadulterated freshness. How much easier is it to keep a resolution when it’s pure awesome to be outside?
There is a cosmic energy almost begging us to start again, to use the exploding beauty to propel us into the life we want. To develop the habits we’ve always been attracted to. I’ve found that nothing happens in our lives without conscious effort though. To assume that this will be the best summer ever by chance is robbing the season of your concentrated participation. I dare you to take your calendar and look at the next three months at once. Rip them out and line them up in front of you. I dare you to make your summer very intentional. Are Sundays going to be weekly, legendary BBQ nights at your place? Are you going to train for a Spartan race or marathon in September? Where are your car wheels aching to go? Which weekend will you take the kids exploring? When will you whisk your honey away to the beach? Walk along the Snye at sunset?
Don’t let your canoe sit and rust this year. Don’t busy yourself so much on lawn maintenance and small home projects that your family won’t remember this as the best summer ever. Don’t let this one pass you by without noticing.
If you’re like me, last year the wildfire kind of hijacked summer. There wasn’t much time to do all the nothing you had planned. Your state of mind just couldn’t focus on relaxing. Or even on fun. How could it? This year, Fort McMurray, we make up for that. One of the coolest things I’ve seen come from the fire is a renewed sense of family and relational priority. The local baby boom we had nine months after the fire was the perfect example! People wanted to spend time with those they care about. Don’t lose that. Summer is the perfect time. Kids are out of school and anxious to go ‘bear’ hunting with Dad, or on summer bike rides around Borealis Park with Mom. Even for us grown-ups, summer is the perfect atmosphere to fall in love. With someone new, or for some of us, with the same person for the tenth, fifteenth and hundredth time. Let the symphony of crickets at twilight be your soundtrack. The crackle of the campfire, the roasting of s’mores. The wind on your motorbike riding face. It’s contagious. And for the next few months, it’s all around us.
Whatever your summertime drug—hiking, waterskiing, Italian sausages on the grill, ball games, let’s all vow to get a little bit higher this year. More aware of the how these are the moments that charge us up, provide lasting memories, and give us the energy to tackle another winter. Don’t sit on the sidelines, we need you. Kids need to be taught how to fish, your wife needs a phone-less walk with her hand perfectly nestled in yours. The magic of summertime is on its knees begging for your participation. It’s on you now. Summer 2017-the best one ever!