Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: Tomorrow is the summer solstice – the first day of summer. What does summer mean to you?
Jamie Wallace: Summer is not my favorite season. I much prefer the cool and contemplative days of fall, the renewed and hopeful days of spring, or even the dark and quiet days of winter to the hot and somewhat frenetic days of summer. Still, this season does have its charms, something I wrote about in this week’s column for my local paper,
Everything is better done out of doors. A meal eaten on the deck or patio tastes sweeter than one eaten at a proper table in the dining room. A book read in the shade of a tree or at the edge of the ocean sweeps you away more completely than one read curled on the sofa or even in bed. Music enjoyed at an outdoor venue evokes memories and wishes more poignant and true than music contained within four walls.
Living life out in the open seems to invite a little magic into our days. Summer breaks down barriers and breaks us open. The boundaries between inside and outside are blurred and we spend our days gliding effortlessly from one environment to the other. Impromptu conversations with neighbors happen more frequently and last longer as we linger under blue skies on our way to nowhere in particular. People smile more. Dogs wag more. Birds sing more. All around us, creatures are letting loose with spontaneous expressions of joy.
So, I guess while summer is not my favorite season, it does mean (among other things) that we get to live our days more connected to nature and to each other and to all the small, sensual pleasures that abound at this time of the year.
Lisa J. Jackson: I can live without humidity in the summer months, but I absolutely *love* summer solstice – the longest day of the year. Knowing there’s more than 12 hours of daylight makes me giddy and giggly. This year I’ll be spending the first day of summer at a music festival by a river – the weather is supposed to be divine and I’m looking forward to listening to local bands and talking with people about places to visit in NH. I think it’s going to be a great way to welcome in the summer and remove the last bit of chill from my bones from the long New England winter!
Susan Nye: Hmmmm … fireworks, drive-in movies, collecting fireflies and starfish, learning to swim and sail, sunburns, clamming, family cookouts, baking pies with my grandmother and picking wild raspberries. Although it is a busy time for me now, when I think of summer, I still think of lazy days at the beach and time with family. When I was a little kid, my parents rented ramshackle cottages at the Cape. We were walking distance to both sets of grandparents. I have many fond memories of doing ordinary things with my grandparents and truly appreciate the time we spent together. Instead of the Cape, four generations of Nyes now gather in New Hampshire every summer. That time together is truly a gift.
Deborah Lee Luskin: I’m with Jamie on this one, and admit that summer is not my favorite season, maybe because it’s both so hyped and frantic. That said, I may be in for a good summer this year. I’ve decided not to drive this summer: no rowing, no CSA, no unnecessary trips or errands. So far (okay, not even officially summer), I’ve benefited from more time at home, especially more gardening, and a great sense of s-l-o-w-i-n-g down, which has allowed me to smell the flowers – both literally and metaphorically.
Julie Hennrikus: I don’t love humidity and excess heat, but I love summer. I love the food. BBQ, blueberries, rhubarb, cotton candy. I love being able to walk outside with layers and layers of clothes. I LOVE the Red Sox specifically, and baseball in general. My life is on an academic season, so I also love the renewal and refreshing of the summer months.