Summer is my favorite season, period, end of story.
I catch myself saying every single day, “I love summer!” What’s not to love? I love the temperature. I love the flowers. I love being outside. I love the lazy moments when the kids are lying in hammocks outside, and I love watching the sun go down.
I love to go constantly in the summer: early morning hikes, summer BBQ at the pool with friends, and walks at dusk with the dog.
Fall always makes me sad to see the summer go. It means winter is coming, and as much as I love to ski, my feet are always cold. The flowers start to die back. I have to have hot tea all day long to stay warm. The days feel dark, and I miss being outside in the sunshine.
I am trying to appreciate the upside of fall however: soups and stews, boots and cashmere, roasted veggies, longer nights provide a time to rest, write, and read. It almost forces me to slow down.
For me, resting is a skill that needs to be worked on all the time. Some people have to work on exercise, eating well, and making healthy decisions. I have to focus on trying to get rest. I’m getting better at meditating more regularly, but I’ve been trying to do that for 40 years! I’m trying to see the value of rest, the benefit of lying down, being still, and letting my body regenerate. When I do this, I can really feel it, like a rocket ship on my next run, I feel I have let my batteries recharge.
The main reason I am appreciating rest lately is that it helps me tap into my intuition better. When I go a little slower, I can hear just a little better. I can hear what my intuition is whispering. It is always there; sometimes it has to roar at me for me to hear it, but when I go slower, it is louder.
Intuition is the most profound intelligence we have. I feel mine in the center of my stomach. If I tune in and listen, it is strong. If I am going too fast, it is more like a whisper. I have been trying to cultivate my intuition for a long time, and I never knew it would just take slowing down for it to be more audible.
I would have to admit some upsides of the COVID-19 pandemic have been that this slowed-down pace that I have tried to cultivate on my own for years has now been forced upon me. At first, I fought it like a dragon…too much slow. I have recognized that time and space are here to sit, be still, listen, and hear what is rumbling in the space between action and nonaction. To do the things I never feel I have time to do such as sit in the garden in the middle of the day, steal a few moments to myself in the forest to sit on a rock and take it all in, read a book that has been on my highest desire list midday. All of those beautiful things I have been longing for and have never given myself a chance to enjoy. I see other people doing this and think, “Wow, must be nice to have that kind of time.”
Now, I am not sure how I will emerge after COVID-19, but I know that this is not something I can “unsee” or easily forget. The feeling of expansiveness, spaciousness, and ease. My intuition is getting quite loud. I also feel that this pandemic has been an answer to the crazy-paced world we have been occupying—on some level, have we all yearned for a reason to sit still for a brief time?
Try it—slow down just a bit, put some space between you and the rest of the world, sit for a while, tune in to wherever you hear and feel your voice, and listen for a while, with your hands wrapped around a hot cup of tea.