A few weeks ago I began meditating every day. I even went so far as to set an alarm on my phone to remind me to meditate at a specific time each day.
One of the most interesting side effects of this new routine has been how I approached summer. Between my seasonal allergies and my strong dislike of humidity, this is not my favourite time of the year. I’m normally counting down the days until autumn by the end of August. The mild temperatures of spring and fall are far more my cup of tea.
With that being said, there are still things about summer that I enjoy, and my meditation habits have helped me to uncover more of them than I would have originally thought possible.
1. Produce Is in Season
I have loved nearly every kind of fruit and vegetable I’ve ever tasted, from berries to green beans and everything in-between.
The wonderful thing about summer is that almost every kind of fruit and vegetable is in season between May and early September. There have been multiple times when I’ve made entire meals out of a big plate of fruit and vegetables because they were on sale or I wasn’t sure what else to eat.
While it’s possible to do the same thing in the winter thanks to all of the produce that’s grown in other countries and then shipped to Canada, locally-grown food is cheaper in-season and often tastes much better, too.
So every year I look forward to a summer filled with fresh, healthy dinners that generally don’t require me to turn on the stove or do much preparation at all other than to wash and maybe chop up what I want to eat.
2. Everything Gets a Festival or Parade
No, I’m not exaggerating here.
While this obviously depends on where you live, Toronto has multiple events going on every single day of the summer that celebrate everything from the LGBT community to food festivals for every kind of cuisine you can imagine and a few you might not have any idea exists at all.
When I first moved up here, I was overwhelmed by the possibilities. The small, midwestern town I spent most of my childhood in had less going on there in an entire year than Toronto has on even its quietest weekend.
I still get excited when I see a random parade marching down the street, but I also know there are far more festivities going on in this city than I can ever hope to keep up with. They’re everywhere, and it’s wonderful.
3. No Jackets, Hats, or Gloves Required
At the end of every spring, I turn to my spouse at some point and happily tell him that we don’t have to wear jackets anymore when we go outside.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have some very cool jackets, and I am looking forward to having extra pockets again in a month or two. There is also something to be said for being able to go on a spontaneous walk without needing to grab a jacket or make sure that I’m dressed warmly enough for the temperatures outside.
Since I’ve forgotten a jacket somewhere once or twice as well, it’s also nice not to have to go back to retrieve anything during this time of the year. Everything I need is already on my body or in my purse.
4. Extra Hours of Sunlight
By the time November hits, I really begin to miss the long, sunny days of June.
While it’s nice to have extra hours of darkness for sleeping purposes, it also feels good to go for a walk at 8 pm and still see plenty of light in the sky.
If only there were a way to bottle some of that sunshine up and sprinkle it throughout November and December.
Since there currently isn’t away to do that, I must enjoy it while it’s still here.
I’m still looking forward to the cool, crisp days of autumn, but I’ll be enjoying the last few weeks of summer in the meantime. How do you feel about this time of the year? How has meditation or mindfulness in general changed the way you thought about something you’re not a big fan of in general? I’ll be around on Twitter all day to talk about this.