Happy Summer Solstice!
Apologies for my absence; I’ve been distracted by… well, warmth.
After a winter of dark skies, frozen wind and a grayscale landscape, the feeling of the sun on my skin and the burst of color into my current Midwestern world is making me happier than a little kid in a candy store.
Summer in the Midwest is actually… AMAZING!
This might not be a surprise to you, but it’s been of a bit of a surprise to me.
The past nine months have provided my first experience of living in Indiana as an adult, and while the winter was unimpressive (although beautiful because I was surrounded by warm, chaotic family dinners and baby cuddles and laughter and a heap of fireplaces,) Indiana summers are proving to be magic.
I had a lot of pent-up energy after a winter spent indoors, so, so far I’ve run 153.8 miles, climbed a few hundred feet of rock walls (hello, arm muscles. Nice to *finally* meet you,) kayaked Ft. Wayne’s maze of rivers, spent probably about a dozen hours in awe of good ol’ midwestern thunderstorms, tested out the city’s many jungle gyms with my 2-year-old nephews, and taught yoga under the sun at the wild-ish park down the street to students who seem a tad more interested in watching yoga than actually learning yoga. (Happy International Yoga Day, by the way.)
Growing up is an interesting phenomenon because it involves a lot of growing in and growing toward; growing in to our skin/who we are and growing toward who we want to become.
One of the self-discoveries that I’ve made in the last few years is that the most important non-people-related priority to me is to have a life lived, as much as possible, outdoors, active, and intertwined with nature. Having that connection with nature and the Wild is my church; it’s the source of the energy that keeps my soul from wilting and my passion for… anything… from dimming out.
The last time I lived in Indiana, I hadn’t realized that about myself yet, and I’m grateful to have had this season to re-explore my old, first ‘home’ and see it through new eyes.
Summer is my habitat.
This season out of the tropics has helped me realize that, as long as the weather’s warm and the skies are sunny, I can find ways to fulfill that innate priority in my life, whether it’s running miles (and miles and miles) of flat pavement, swimming with sea turtles, scaling a ridgeline at 10,000’ elevation, walking barefoot through untouched jungle, or kayaking through polluted rivers.
I imagine I’ll spend most of my lifetime chasing summers that run from one right into another (since, after all, any creature in the world thrives the very best when in its habitat,) but I certainly hope there will be a few more Indiana ones in the mix — particularly since it’s where so many of my favorite faces in the entire world happen to be 🙂
I hope your summer is off to an AMAZING start!