In the Pacific Northwest, we welcome summer like a rare treasure, something we’d like to horde and bring out for special occasions. Though we are blessed with a temperate climate (by Canadian standards), true summery weather can be late to come and quick to leave. This year, summer played coy and hard-to-get, waiting until Solstice day to finally arrive. But now that it’s here, it is glorious.
Summer has a way of peeling back our outer layers, both of body and soul. The heat forces us to slow down, to soften our edges, to linger in sun and shade alike. After months of gloom, our skin craves light and energy, our bodies yearn to move through the warm air and we rediscover the joy of just being outside.
As the rhythm of summer sets in, longer days seem to slow down time and the urgency of every day can melt away. Days at the beach, hikes and dining al fresco are the new rituals; the jangle of ice cream trucks, the hum of air conditioners, and the rattle of cicadas, the new soundtrack. Comfort food is crisp greens, fresh fruit, and ice-cold drinks; closed doors and windows are now open. Summer’s pace inspires pause: time to smile at the sunshine and chat with the neighbors.
Here on the island, the endless spring showers are a distant memory. As dryness reaches the forest floor it becomes hard to believe that it will ever rain again or that these lingering days will ever shorten. As we work and play late into the evening fire is the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a long day. With burning bans in place, our evening campfires are replaced by tall tales and yawns shared around our propane fire pit. When darkness finally enshrouds us, the flickering flames toast our marshmallows and cast golden shapes onto satisfied faces.