Summer 2021 – Embracing the Opportunities

As we embrace summer, it’s time for contemplation and inspiration. There’s a sense of hopefulness that we’re turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been described as “the most disruptive event in modern history”.  Vaccination rates are climbing, the number of patients in ICUs are decreasing and gathering restrictions are easing. 

While we’re taking a program break this summer here in the Trillium Network, I hope you can find some inspiration, as I did from these summer quotes.

Yoko Ono, “Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.” 

I live next door to a young couple with two high energy, exuberant boys, and it’s a delight to hear all the fun they are having being outdoors.  Remembering the summer fun I had as a child, spending hours in the lake and exploring the back roads on bikes with friends – it gives me a little nudge to add some exuberance to this summer.

Jeannette Walls, “One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

I’ve been a lifelong reader and one of the first things I did for my children after they were born was to sign them up at the local library. I’m happy to say that the habit stuck and as adults, they continue to read for both pleasure and education.  On a suggestion from my daughter, I’ve enrolled in the MOOC Indigenous Canada 12-lesson course from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. I recognize that as an individual I have a role to play in the work of reconciliation with Indigenous people, and I commit to doing the work and to learning more.

Sam Keen, “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

I’m learning to take the cues from my almost 19-year-old dog, Oreo, and simply enjoy a lazy day or two.  It’s hard, I believe, for many of us to slow down and simply enjoy an unscheduled, nothing on the “to-do” list day.  We may be inclined this summer to pack a lot into it to make up for the prolonged months of stay-at-home orders.  And that’s fine – but put a “do nothing” day or two on your list for a little balance. 

Celia Thaxter, “There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”

The happiest people I know practice gratitude daily and bring that perspective to the workplace.  Lots of people endorse daily journaling but if that’s too daunting consider setting up a gratitude jar beside the coffee maker and jot down the small and the big moments of gratitude as you think of them and then at the end of the year you can see how full your heart has grown.

And finally, remember to use sunscreen!

Cindy Gonsalves