Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Blog page link: www.mamapedia.com/voices/summer-afte
July 6, 2013
by Katrina Kenison
“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
I took a long walk yesterday, listening on my headphones to poet David Whyte talking about “What to Remember When Waking.”
I confess: I was two miles down the road and completely under the spell of Whyte’s romantic English accent before it even occurred to me that he is not referring to waking up literally, as in what to remember as you roll out of bed in the morning, but rather to waking up in a spiritual sense.
In other words, waking up to your life.
Suddenly, in the heat of the day, trudging back up the hill toward home and dripping with sweat, I got it.
Each day offers me a choice. I can keep my head down, my heart locked up, my soul tethered to my to-do list, my feet on the same old well-worn path. Or, I can wake up. I can pay attention to the subtle currents of my life, and allow them to carry me in a new direction. I can feel my feelings, rather than avoid them. I can be fully present, rather than half here. I can wake up to the challenges of the journey, the conversation I don’t want to have, my fears about where I’m headed, the truth of who I am, the gifts and and losses of my life as it is.
Today is as good a day as any other to wake up. It is a summer afternoon. Why not wallow like a hedonist in the fullness of the present moment? Succumb to the fleeting beauty of July. Allow your tender heart to open, both to grief for all that’s over and gladness for what remains.
Eat strawberries. Watch a robin splash in the birdbath. Blow bubbles with your kids. Go for a swim, or a bike ride, or a walk. Watch the clouds drift past. Pick daisies for your table. Snap some peas. Hang your damp sheets on the line. Sit in a lawn chair. Read a book. Close your eyes. Take a nap. Wake up.
Katrina Kennison is a wife, a mother, a life-long reader, wanderer, daydreamer and the author of three highly acclaimed memoirs. Her writing has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Country Living, Family Circle, Redbook, and other publications. You can read more about Katrina on her website. You can also follow her Facebook and Twitter.