Summer. The word alone conjures images of fresh lemonade, turquoise swimming pools and bare feet in green grass. Yet thanks to DC’s legendary heat and humidity, how many of us groan and grumble our way through the season, sealing ourselves off in air-conditioned spaces? This year, I decided to treat summer the way I had as a teenager: a chance to slow down, and enjoy a host of sensory experiences, from the shockingly sweet taste of popsicles to watching fireflies emerge at nightfall. And I noticed something funny: I didn’t mind the heat as much as I usually do. In fact, I enjoyed the sensation of the sun on my skin. By embracing the season’s rhythms and offerings, I was able to deepen my enjoyment of it.
Each season offers its own sensual gifts, but it’s up to us to accept and savor them. With fall right around the corner, now’s your chance to reflect on how you’d like to experience the months ahead. Here are some ideas to get you started:
– Host a harvest party. Choose recipes featuring seasonal produce, such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes and, of course, apples. Plan a fall-inspired activity, such as making your own holiday wrapping paper using apples you’ve carved into stamps (turn to trusty Google for a how-to).
– Celebrate coziness! On a chilly evening or weekend afternoon, make hot apple cider on the stove, and savor the aroma that fills the house. Pour yourself a mug, and curl up under a blanket to read or watch a favorite movie.
– Make a living collage. Choose a space to showcase seasonal items that you gather as fall settles in: particularly striking leaves, a snapshot of late afternoon in your neighborhood park, a scented candle, acorns, and whatever else you encounter. Look at your collection to remind yourself to savor the season’s unique characteristics. (A variation of this: create a journal/scrapbook for each season.)
Have fun, and notice how creatively and mindfully engaging with the season affects your mind, body and spirit.
Got favorite ways to savor winter? Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll feature them in the next issue!