Updated: Sep 7, 2020
The summer solstice
Long days filled with with sunshine
Celebrating the end of the school year and activities
The beginning of vacation
Gardens coming alive
The smell of blossoms
The delicious taste of summer
June often feels like a month of beginnings and endings. It is the official start of summer and in Canada, it is the end of the school year. It is the time for High School Graduation, which is both a beginning and ending. Many student's extra curricular activities and sports come to an end in June. Usually it is a time to celebrate winding up the accomplishments of the school year. There are year end parties and barbecues. It's the start of the camping and hiking season. Summer starts to come to life. In many cases, it is the end of a busy season of work and the start of the fun holiday season.
This year, June feels different because this whole year is different due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is still a season of beginnings and endings, but different from the ones that we are used to. In many places around the world, June is the end of some of the strictest isolation guidelines and business closures. It is the beginning of the world opening up more widely and taking steps to life as we "used to know it." But these are baby steps. Or at least that is what seems to be the message we are receiving from many sources. "Cautiously return: to work, to seeing people, to shopping, to going about your normal life." But what does that really mean. The boundaries of what you should and shouldn't do feel even less clear than they did before. Can we approach the summer the way we normally would? Can we go to our cottages or on vacation? Can we go camping? Can we go to the beach? Can we have a barbecue with friends?
The answer to these questions seems to be, "yes and..." Yes you can approach summer with a feeling of joy and hopefulness AND you still need to be cautious in how you do that. You can return to shopping at many stores and use services that were closed AND you should still wear a mask, and keep 6 feet apart. You can go to parks and other public spaces AND you should wash down any surface and your hands after you touch anything. You can socialize outdoors with people AND don't socialize with too many people (although we don't know how many is too many). You can go back to work, AND it might be better to stay working from home if you can. You can go to your cottage if you need to, AND it may be preferable if you don't, especially if you have a to cross a border to get to it.
In this time of trying to adjust the boundaries previously set, my question is, "How do you want move forward in this newly opening world? AND what are you most longing to experience this summer?" I guess that is 2 questions, so answer one or both for yourself. Or if you have a better question, answer that (and share it with the rest of us to answer as well).
I think for myself, I want to move forward intentionally and cautiously. I am used to many of the restrictions we have been asked to adhere to for the past couple of months. And I have actually enjoyed the simplicity of my life with fewer activities. So I want to preserve some of that simplicity if I can, even when I have the opportunity to do more. I want to continue to consume less because that feels like a healthy choice for me, (although it might be better for the economy for me to be a bigger consumer). What I am most longing to experience this summer is a renewed connection with all the people in my life who I love. I have enjoyed a lot of quality time with my immediate family, and now that it is more available to do so, I am looking forward to connecting with more of my friends and family. And I want to do it in a way that is respectful of everyone's safety. So I will listen to the government recommendations and follow them as best I can. And I will savour the joy of being with people in person again and appreciate what a treasure that is, after not being able to enjoy it for some time.
What about you? What are your plans for this summer? How are you planning on moving forward? What do you want to experience. Please share anything you would like in the comments below, in our Weekly ONE Thing Facebook Group or on Facebook or any other social media.Your successes and challenges can inspire other people. I look forward to reading your posts!