The Last Vestiges of Summer

Alas, I am loath to admit the last vestiges of summer are upon us. I’m not one in a hurry to hasten in the autumn though it is a beautiful season of its own… as are the last days of summer. The summer has been very busy and very full, leaving me very little time to set goals each month for my Think Healthy Not Thin blogs. Doing so has actually proven more difficult than I expected. I’m continuing with the other goals that I started. Though exercise has always has been spotty at best. But I have done one thing this summer that is good for the health and the mind—but not necessarily the waistline. Before I tell you what I learned, I have to tell you someone I overheard on 4th of July weekend.
“I can’t believe summer is almost over.”
Are you kidding me? I was quick to interject that summer just started a few weeks ago! What crack pipe were these two ladies smoking to lament the loss of a season in its prime?
In reality, we see that with every season. November 1st people began complaining of winter though we’re in the heart of autumn. Despite the plethora of snowmen Christmas trees and winter activities, the actual season of winter does not start until just a few days before Christmas. And spring begins in March, regardless of weather. And yes when people freak out that a little snow falls in the month of March the gardener in me longs to retort with: “Of course it snows in the spring. Haven’t you ever heard of snow peas?”
I’m a stickler for following the calendar for my seasons, not the weather. The purpose of this blog, however, is more of a discussion of people in a hurry to end things and the constant expectation for upcoming events. Don’t get me wrong, I love autumn. It is one of my absolute favorite times of year. But I adore summer is well and, if you don’t mind, I’d like to continue to enjoy the last few days of it. The cicadas are still singing, the corn is still up, and so are the soybeans in the field behind my home. The last summer of the tomatoes are ripening on the vine and even my eggplants and jalapenos are making new fruit. The days may be getting a tad shorter, but every day after June 21st continues to do so until the winter solstice. It is still daylight in the evening and the sky is still blue—more evidence that summer is still here though only for a little while. When I came out into my garden this morning, I did not see the grey skies of autumn with its long shadows, rather, I still saw blue skies. Evidence of summer though at its end. The slightly cooler temperatures and the dwindling down tomato plants also herald the last days of summer. Yes autumn is coming, but why rush it? Things will get here when they do. Can’t we just enjoy the moments as they happen instead of wishing them away for the week after tomorrow?
While I did not set any goals this summer, thinking healthy not thin was definitely on my mind. With the plethora of veggies from my garden, I was eating really clean, even enjoying quinoa! I learned was to take things a little easier. I cannot do everything, every day, all the time. I have two jobs and a household to run. But the day I would hit ‘send’ to my publisher on a completed manuscript, I would start a new book. No one can live up to that constant pace. Then a friend reminded me that I used to take a few weeks off in between manuscripts. One of those epiphany light bulbs decided to show up above my head.
I need to stop and smell the tomatoes lol
So as I was out enjoying the warm sunshine, harvesting a few tomatoes and some nice plump jalapenos to stuff for dinner, I realized that this entire summer has been a good season for my soul. I’ve learned it cut back on my pressures and deadlines and savor the little things. A cup of coffee on my patio in the early morning while I watch the sun glistening through the cobwebs last night’s spiders wove across my tomato vines. The sweet taste of a warm cherry tomato freshly plucked in the afternoon. The cathartic hours spent cutting and stewing vegetables to put by so my family can have fresh produce in the winter.
Our society has grossly thrown these moments by the wayside in their haste to get on to the next event. The women who were lamenting that 4th of July marked the end of summer I wanted to ask them, “Why are you in such a hurry just throw away the season, complaining and lamenting that it’s over when it has just begun?”
Yes summer is ending and people will begin to complain that winter is on its way, but there’s a big thing called autumn in between. I intend to savor the upcoming season and all it has to offer, especially the quiet times which are so good for the soul. While I may not have set any fantastic goals, the one thing that I have done this summer is to slow down and take care of my mental health. Savoring each day is a colossal step in my journey toward thinking healthy not thin.
So why don’t you join me?
When you hear all those naysayers already talking about autumn and complaining about winter remind them that summer isn’t over. While yes it is coming to an end as all good things do—just not for another 5 days—it is still here. And I’m going to enjoy every moment of it. Perhaps I will get back to my goals then, but for now, I think I’ll go out and see if I have any plump tomatoes ready to have with my breakfast.

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