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August 30, 2016

Of Sparklers & Campfires: 15 ways to Liberate Ourselves these Last Weeks of Summer.

kids vintage ice cream summer

My youngest brother came to visit this week. After a lovely dinner with the family, we stepped out into the cool dark night of late summer, and I brought out a pack of sparklers.

All five of us adults—ranging in age from 19 to 49—ran around the yard, laughing and skipping and writing our names in the sky.

I was immediately time warped back to when my daughter was young and discovering sparklers for the first time. Then back even farther to when my brother and I were kids together, playing outside on those long summer days. He asked me about fireflies, as he hadn’t seen any since he moved away to another part of the continent many years before. I described to him the spectacular light show those insects had given me on hot summer nights.

In those carefree moments outside all together, we had no worries, no judgement, no limitations.

As the summer comes to a close, consider looking back and asking yourself: have I taken some time to play as I used to as a child?

If you have young children, the answer is most likely yes, but if you don’t have children, or yours are all grown up, perhaps the summer has flown by without any substantial childlike silliness.

Letting go of our adult-ness for a little while can be incredibly liberating. It helps us feel joy in the moment, gratitude for the time and place and people that surround us. Being silly and playing, we can recapture the spontaneity and unself-consciousness that children have. Whether we experience these moments alone or with others, we can momentarily halt our adult concerns, and just be in the moment, filled with wonder and curiosity once again for the magical moment that is.

Of course, we can find activities to bring out the child in us in all seasons, but here is a list of some of my particular favourites in summertime. The common theme that runs through all these ideas is being outside, in nature, in communion with with Mother Earth. This is where and how I personally feel most alive and most connected to my true, peaceful self.

Outdoors, I am shown again and again how life is a miracle. I am blessed to be able to step out of my house and be there, but if that’s not the case for you, perhaps you can seek out a nearby park, or take a little road trip to a spot away from the city.

Have you done any of these yet this summer? Can you choose one or more that you can squeeze in before the transition to autumn is complete?

1. Light a sparkler, and write your name in the sky.
2. Make a campfire.
3. Roast some marshmallows, and/or makes S’mores.
4. Sing some songs.
5. Sleep out in a tent in the backyard.
6. Walk barefoot in the grass.
7. Forage for wild berries.
8. Build a fairy house.
9. Run under the sprinkler.
10. Instead of wading in, go running splashing into a lake or the ocean.
11. Go skinny dipping.
12. Eat a big ice cream cone or a sundae (with pleasure, and no guilt).
13. Blow bubbles.
14. Climb a tree.
15. Fly a kite.
16. Lie on a blanket outside at night to watch the stars and stare at the moon.
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“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” ~ Albert Einstein

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.” ~ Rachel Carson

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
~

Author: Katja Leccisi

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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