There are so many things I love about Summer. The long hours of daylight. The warm breezes that call you to the beach. Even the yardwork that this exuberant growing season brings. But, if I were pressed to identify the one Summer feature I love the most it would be the bountiful fresh and local produce.
A tomato sandwich or tomato slices stacked with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar are flavorful and fresh on a hot summer day. Ditto a cucumber sandwich or salad. Fresh corn sautéed with a little olive oil and sea salt. Craving something sweet? Pick your berry and add a little whipping cream. I could go on and on. It is so easy to eat healthy and quickly this time of year.
I don’t know about you, but as the mercury rises outside, I try to avoid the oven and keep the stove top going at a minimum. This keeps my kitchen routine simplified. Less time, less mess with big payoff. The natural and simple flavors of the summer bounty tantalize and satisfy.
It is a good time of year to take stock. We are at the annual half-way mark on the calendar year. How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? Maybe it is time to revise the goals or the plans. No matter, it is definitely time to pause and reflect. Savor the season and slow down. Go to the beach and read with your toes in the sand. Set up that game of croquet or float around the pool. In our modern, plugged in twenty-four hour a day world, this is no longer a nice sentiment, it is essential for our mental health.
Each year I enjoy this break from the busy Spring and respite before the event filled Fall. One of these Summers I am going to figure out how to take this simplicity with me through the rest of the year. Then again maybe what makes Summer simplicity so special is that it is part of the cyclical pattern of my life. There are things I love about the other seasons as well and perhaps I would not appreciate Summer as much if it was never ending.
So grab a glass of iced tea or fresh squeezed lemonade and find a breezy spot in the shade. Close your eyes and commit the moment to memory. That way this Fall or Winter when you feel overwhelmed and harried you can recall this scene, take a deep breath and remember to simplify.