Summer! Glorious, hot, summer!
When someone mentions summer, I immediately think – lazy days on the beach. The smell of sunscreen. Playing in the waves. Eating watermelon. Fun and more fun! Jip, that pretty much sums it up for me.
Just like summer is synonymous with relaxing, having fun, and not having many cares in the world; summer seasons in our lives are quite similar. Yet, summer isn’t just about glorious sunny days on the beach. Before you can go off and enjoy your summer holiday, you need to finish up the last things on your to-do list, give that final push at work, and then your reward awaits.
Summer is a combination of work and play. Just like spring is a season of planting and working really hard, summer also requires some work, but there is more time to relax and have some fun as well.
The following stand out for me during a season of summer:
Water what you have planted
The weather can be quite hot right after you have finished your planting, so it is important to water your garden. Your plants can only grow properly if they are watered regularly.
The way you water what you have planted in your life is by spending time and energy on it. What you put in, is what you get out. Spend time nurturing relationships, new business ventures, your children, your marriage, etc. Nothing can grow without water.
Protect what you have planted
Once your seeds have been planted, birds will be on the lookout to sweep down and peck them up, or snails might start nibbling on the first leaves as they start growing. You need to plant a scarecrow, or put up a fence, or spray some pesticide. Plants are quite eager to grow when they’ve received enough water but need some help (protection) to push through the initial stages of growth.
In our lives it is important to put up boundaries to protect our investment and ensure growth. During the initial phases of growing something in your life, it is very much like a child – it needs guidance, direction, and protection while it grows strong enough to be stand on its own feet. Protection will look different for everyone, depending on what you are trying to grow in your life. But irrespective of what you are growing, it will need some protection from external forces.
Learn from the growth phase
Not everything you plant in your garden will grow. In some instances you’ll plant the seeds too deep (not reading the planting instructions properly), so they’ll struggle to push through the soil. In others, birds will peck up the seed. Although you will initially be disappointed, you must learn from it and do better next time round.
Learn the valuable lessons in your summer season early on, as you don’t want to repeat the process again later on. The proverb “Bend the tree while it is still young” rings true here. During the first stages of growth, you can still change, re-route, implement it differently, and shake up the whole process. You don’t necessarily have to stick with what you set out in the beginning. If you learn from the growth phase, it will nurture wisdom for seasons to come.
Pause, appreciate and enjoy
There is immense pleasure and satisfaction in watching something you have planted, grow. Perhaps it is because you have planted it yourself, spent afternoons in the sun taking out weeds, and making time to water and protect the little plants as they break through the surface. There is great contentment in pausing and appreciating the result of your hard work.
Pausing during a summer season is really important. It gives you time to really appreciate how far you have come (through a winter of no growth and a spring of working hard). Stop and smell the flowers; slow down after the hard work you’ve put in during your spring season. Appreciate the things that are going right in your life. Relax. Take some time out. Enjoy the less stressed season – you have earned it.
Summer is a combination of fun, enjoyment, and a little bit of hard work. In summer you need to invest time in what you have planted during spring, protect your investment, learn from the process, and enjoy the growth that will take place by itself. A summer season in life is definitely an easy season. So take some time out, relax and enjoy!
Remember: be the BEST you.
This post is the fourth in a series I am currently writing, titled “Seasons”. Keep an eye out for my next post – “Autumn: A Season for Harvest”.