The bitter chill of the wind and constant return of fresh snow made for a long winter this year. As my little boy dragged himself out of bed early in the morning, and made his way down to the bathroom to brush his teeth, we shivered and stumbled in the dark. Hours later, when we sat down for dinner, it was dark again, and still cold. It seemed like winter would never end.
But end it did. And hurray! It’s light and bright long before we roll out of bed. It’s light and bright long after I tuck the boys in. The air is warm and scented with the smells of summer: freshly cut grass, chlorine-soaked suits, and grills galore. We savor these few months, this beautiful, sunny, warm respite from the cold Midwest winters.
We’re visiting Virginia this week, which isn’t warm. It’s hot. After 13 hours in the car, my boys tumbled into my parent’s yard, found every available ball, and began to play in the 99 degree weather. Minutes later, my eldest made his way into the kitchen.
“Hey,” I said. “What are you doing?”
“It’s too hot out there,” he grumbled.
Thus began my diatribe on how we should enjoy the warmth and sunshine, and how I grew up in North Carolina, for goodness sakes, where it’s like 100 times hotter than in Virginia. And humid. North Carolina is really humid. So much more humid, and you will never know, my son, what a really hot day is like, and if you think this is one, you’ve got another thing coming.
This is not an example of my finest parenting moment. But still.
And as I thought about how easily we forget our longing for the sunshine—how we take it for granted when it arrives and wish for even more—for perfect temperatures and no rain and mosquito-free evenings, I thought about true this can be in life.
We long and we wish and we wait, and when we get there, instead of enjoying wherever or whatever it is, we check it off and move on to the next thing on our list.
This summer, let’s stop. Let’s enjoy the warmth. Let’s enjoy the sunshine and the heat that comes with it. And maybe, just maybe, we can look around, and see a few other things else been forgetting to enjoy—and appreciate—too.
photo credit: lainBuchanan