ARTS & CULTURE | Summer is Here — Release yourself

By Lisa Bland —photo-16

 

Dear Readers,

Summer is finally here, and it’s busy times. There is something about this time of year that speaks loudly to our physical-ness in the world. Whether you are digging in the garden, preparing beautiful fruits and vegetables, swimming around in lakes, climbing in forests and up mountains, or running your bare toes through the grass, the sensuality of summer can’t be ignored. These precious months, when our world has come completely alive, it’s important not to miss out and watch it pass by watching it from a window, locked onto a computer screen, or held captive by the million to-dos we pile onto our shoulders. It’s time to embody the world—allow it to reveal its mysteries through our senses. This Earth is our home and summer is our invitation to get outside and play!

Lately, I’m noticing more the modern day obsession with busyness and avoidance of direct experience for virtual reality or constant work. Sometimes we are vividly shown, through personal challenges or loss, that it’s our moments and memories that add up to living, not how hard we worked or how perfect our projects were or how much money we saved up. There will always be another project and another to-do. Sometimes we need to step back and ask if we’re even behind the steering wheel. Summer is a reminder to live now.

In this issue, it seems that we have a greater than usual number of personal stories, which seems fitting for the summer and our times. Our stories and personal experiences are our realities. Our senses are part of a biological inheritance that has kept our bodies in tune with the natural world for millennia. In a time of rapid, terrifying change across the Earth and far reaching impacts for our future, the idea of simple and directeven joyfulexperience, starts to feel like the most rational approach. Our research is important, but our ability to act is even more important. Our culture teaches us to hide behind our rationalizations and spend time and resources gathering facts rather than risk stepping out. But our hearts and our bodies are telling us something is awry. We need to care about our world, trust our senses—and we need to slow down. So rather than gather the facts together on a lengthy topic and present it with a logical, coherent, so called unbiased perspective, I am letting summer speak through me with this poem.

Enjoy time outside and indulge your senses. Celebrate the wonder of being in a physical body, and that you are here today, alive. You have just as much right to breathe the air, feel the wind on your skin, eat food that comes out of the Earth, and appreciate this incredible world as anyone.

...Ah….sweet summer I’m running through your cherry

stained fingers

and going straight to work

to finish writing that message

but there are raspberries falling

off the branches

and everyone’s sweaty and

off swimming.

I rush out the door

and forget my list,

my plan.

 

You are there whispering

don’t miss this day to celebrate

the bumblebee in the clover.

Let nature grab hold,

and rattle your cage

of self imprisonment.

More than anything,

she needs you now.

 

Be seduced by her sweetness

and rhythms

soon enough she’ll leave you

in a barren room

alone

looking out

at the frozen land.

 

For now,

let her turn you upside down,

launching into a lake,

covered with sticky

peach juice,

caressed by warm flower nights

in the moonlight.

 

Get bitten,

watch what the spider,

the dragonfly,

have in mind.

Turn off the radio, TV,

you don’t need to know the news

each hour.

 

Listen to what’s new

in your heart.

Appreciate the wind on your skin

and allow your dreams

to catch hold of

the goddess of summer.

She’ll guide you

somewhere beautiful

…promise.

 

Step out of your cage,

fill your cup.

 

~Lisa Bland

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