Some moments in summertime can seem so precious that we want to catch and hold them fast in our hands. These long, languid days of sunshine and deep green trees are extremely valuable: summer is a season of connecting deeply with the natural world and by association ourselves. When you stand barefoot in warm, soft dirt can you feel the thrum of our planet beneath your toes? When you gaze up at a cloudless, light blue sky can you notice the squiggly pump of your eye’s white blood cells against vast space? We are so connected to the big globe we exist on, and when we truly tap into this connection we are reminded of a crucial fact: it is constantly in motion. June 21st was Summer Solstice, the day that we celebrate the year’s longest stretch of daylight. And now, although we are certainly still experiencing the belly of summertime, the days are already beginning to shorten as the nights grow bigger and deeper.
The changes within seasons can be the most beautiful reminders of impermanence, and our Yoga practice teaches us to watch as reactions make themselves known in our bodies. What do you see your physical form doing in the height of summer? Perhaps there is a bit more dirt under your fingernails, perhaps your feet are toughening up from shoeless adventures, perhaps your skin changes as it receives kisses from the sun. Notice these shifts and the way that they fall in tandem with the evolution of the season: the steady ripening of berries, the persistent growth of grass in the backyard, those clockwork midafternoon thunderstorms.
It is natural and human to feel some trepidation about the inevitability of change: fully accepting the impermanent state of all things requires a deep practice of welcoming, loving, and then fully letting go. Once you begin to cultivate this graceful dance of non-attachment, the ever-spinning world cracks wide open. As writer and lecturer Rachel Cargle says, “how unfair to make the future version of yourself contingent only on today’s set of understandings and aspirations.” Feelings and experiences of all things change, so why not enjoy and revel in them while they are here?