Lazy Days of Summer

The sounds of summer are all around me. I am outside and really trying to focus on just the sounds. So I sit quietly and I close my eyes. The breeze can be heard rustling through the trees. Although my eyes are closed, I can picture the branches gently swaying as they softly move. The peaceful sound of the mourning doves is heard over the singing chirps of the other birds - just singing their mournful song as they look down upon us. There is a buzzing of bees as they work - even on a Sunday. There is a firmer, stronger buzzing sound as the hummingbirds dart in and drink and quickly move again.

It is important to take a moment and savor these days. We here in Michigan, wait all winter for the summer days and then we seem to rush around and pack as much as we can possibly do into each day. We hurry to have fun and to just relax. Are we really relaxed? Are we being mindful or is our mind just too full? Are we clearing our minds and living in the moment or are we planning our next event and excursion?

What does relaxing look like to you? Webster defines the word relax - "to make less tense or rigid" or "to relieve nervous tension." Sometimes I wonder if participating in all of the activities actually makes me feel relaxed. I love being with my family. It is fun to take the little ones swimming or to ride my bike with my husband and friends. I enjoy going to art shows with my girlfriends and helping out at fund raisers. These activities keep me busy and some even "feed my soul." Sometimes, however, I forget to "schedule" time to just relax - time to just be.

August begins this week. We have a full month of summer left until Labor Day. There is time enough to put relaxing on your schedule. Will you schedule a massage or an exercise class? Or will you schedule time to sit quietly.

Today I think that I will continue to sit on my porch and listen to the birds chirping and the children playing. I think that I will watch the geese and ducks in the pond and the bunnies quietly eating the grass. I think that today I will empty my mind. Today I will just be. Today I will relax.

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