Finding beauty in my least favourite season
Despite the beauty of the season summer is actually my least favourite time of the year.
I don't find this season restful. I don't like working in the heat (and a heatwave is forecast next week which I'm so not looking forward to). I don't like the insects that bite my legs in abundance or the flies that come into my kitchen as soon as the food comes out. I don't like the weeds that grow in the cracks on the patio or the nettles that clog the bank of the stream and dart at my feet as I walk past. And then there's a constant noise of petrol strimmers as the neighbours keep their hedges short and their lawn edges pristine.
And I feel there's this constant pressure to enjoy myself because it's light outside. Because it's warm and time to get the barbecue out. Even Facebook ordered me to have fun now summertime is here.
I do feel the odd one out for not enjoying this season. I mean, what am I doing wrong? I see people on Instagram excitedly chatting about summer evenings outdoors, about barbecues and long summer walks and all I'm thinking is 'bring on the fog'.
It's perhaps no surprise to hear that summertime holds sad memories for me. It was the time we lost a (young) family relation. When we lost a dear family friend. And is also the time of year, four years ago, when I became poorly and struggled mentally.
So my associations with summer have unhappy connotations. I'm no psychologist but I'm betting they are more than likely to have had an impact on how I see the season now.
If I'm not careful I'll just see all the negatives of the season. Then the dark aspects of my mind will start grasping, tentacle-like, wanting to bring me down. And I'll be wishing away two or three months of my year.
As I type this I can hear birdsong. I can see the white clouds scurrying across a bright blue sky, and the pinks, purples, reds and creams wave at me from my garden. I can see the swallows swooping and diving and hear them chattering away nineteen to the dozen on our aerial by the chimney.
Yes there is a fly in my kitchen climbing up the window and one flying around me. But the green lushness of the outdoors is up-lifting.
It got me thinking about all the things I love about this time of the year.
- New potatoes boiled with fresh mint from the garden and served with salted butter
- The ease of slipping on my flipflops
- The vibrant colours
- Perfume from the garden such as mock orange
- Fab (the brand) ice lollies (those with the hundreds and thousands).
- Our annual holiday to the seaside and being utterly idle for a week
- And, on that note, the sand between my toes
- Taking time off over the children's summer holidays
- Fizz and dips with my great pal
- Walking barefoot
- Open windows (fly screens a must!)
- The sun on my face, shoulders and arms
- Sun-kissed skin
- The scent of homegrown tomatoes
- Coffee outdoors at a cafe with a friend
- Ice cold drinks
- Blue skies
- Salad cream
- Corn on the cob
- Driving with the window down, the radio on loud and singing along
And the best bit? Stepping outside my back door early one morning in August and sensing a change in the air as we slide towards autumn. The best season of the year...