Yesterday marked the first day of summer, though it has been feeling pretty summery around here for a few weeks already.
Summer doesn’t have quite the sensation of joy, freedom, and expectancy that it does when you’re a child and school is out for three glorious months. With our kids no longer in school and our grandchild not yet in school, our schedules aren’t affected much by the school schedule – except it’s nice to be able to drive without having to worry about slowing to a stop in school zones at certain times of the day. And we do have to watch out more for kids playing in or near the neighborhood street.
Yet summer still retains a bit of charm, though it’s very hot and humid here in the South. It’s the season of grilling, sitting in the pool if you’re lucky enough to have access to one (we enjoy filling up a kiddie pool for Timothy), longer days, yard work, picnics, and vacations for some.
Here are a few favorite quotes about it:
Summer is the time when it is too hot to do the jobs it was too cold to do in winter. ~ Author Unknown
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. ~ Warren Buffett
No price is set on the lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer.
~James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfal, 1848
And most of my fellow Southerners can identify with this:
You know you are in the South in August when…
* The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
* The trees are whistling for the dogs.
* The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
* Hot water now comes out of both taps.
* You can make sun tea instantly.
* You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
* You discover that in August it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.
* You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
* You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
* You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 am.
* Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, “What if I get knocked out and end up
lying on the pavement and cook to death?”
* You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
* The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt, and pepper.
* Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
* The cows are giving evaporated milk.
We’re experiencing some of that though it’s not August yet!
The Bible mentions summer a few times, among them:
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter. Psalm 74:17
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8. And another one about industrious ants: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer. Proverbs 30:25
He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame. Proverbs 10:5
As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool. Proverbs 26:1
Saddest of all: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. Jeremiah 8:20
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Matthew 24:32-33
No hint of summer as vacation there! That helps me not to be wistful of childhood’s long summers off. That must be a modern concept: it wasn’t that long ago that kids didn’t have school in summer for the express purpose of being available to help their parents during the busiest seasons on the farm, and even now, summer is a busy time for farmers and homesteaders. It would be interesting to study summer in other cultures: for instance, in areas near the equator where it’s excessively hot, I wonder if summer if more laid back because it would be harder to function in the heat.
But the Bible does encourage times of rest as well as diligence, so I am glad summer affords time for that.
We have no special plans for the summer except for a couple of events to look forward to. With my husband’s mom here, we can’t really travel. What I call our “birthday season” begins in July: five of us have birthdays between then and mid-September. But we enjoy grilling and sitting outside in the evenings when it’s not so hot, and we look forward to my oldest son coming for a week-long visit in a few weeks. Lately our neighborhood has been getting together for a group cook-out on the 4th of July. Summer used to be reading heaven for me when I was younger, and though I can’t spend the bulk of the day in a book anymore, I still do get a bit more reading in as there is not much on TV during the summer.
What are you doing this summer?