Natalie Ogbourne

As the sun set over the baseball field at the end of a sweltering July day, I sat in the stands and tried not to long for fall. Extreme heat is kind of my kryptonite, so I found myself fighting to not wish the light of summer away over a little discomfort.

Summer, hot as it is right now, is already fading. Like a sweet newborn who marches toward independence from the first breath, each season arrives with the end in sight. And autumn, it’s getting ready, waiting in the wings, ready to take center stage. Soon enough I will miss summer’s warmth.

If you’ve been here for long, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to think in seasons and about seasons, that I  take stock of the gifts each one bestows. The practice of intentional gratitude reminds me that seasons change, that they come to an end. It keeps me from wishing them away. And it helps me remember that seasons, whether of the earth of or life, are not about me.

Gifts Of This Summer

  1.  Daylight that lasts.
  2. Central air at home. Because it’s everywhere else and the human body (at least this human body) does not adjust quickly.
  3. Rain. Growing things need it. Even three days of stormy downpour when we’d planned to be engaged in some sort of outdoor activity bestowed the gift of forced creativity. That is, we held our first family ping-pong tournament, one that forced those of us who typically spectate to participate.
  4. Nieces and nephews. My summer list always seems to include these guys, because this is when I really get to see them, not just for a couple of days over a holiday, but for a week. It’s when I get a little glimpse into their lives.
  5. Carpet ball tables. Carpet ball is one of the happy sounds of summer.
  6. Loons. Their haunting call issues a reminder that even when there are no humans in sight, you are not alone when sitting on the shore of a Minnesota lake. Listen here.
  7. Mousetraps. Traditional ones. Better ones. Feline ones. Probably that’s all I need to say about that.
  8. Summer skies that go on forever. Especially the ones with a fiery sunrise or an impressionistic sunset.
  9. Summer break. Our boy is home for the summer. Our girls are occupying themselves with kittens and crafts and books and the outdoors.  These are things that don’t happen as easily when school is on.
  10. Basil. Especially when it grows just down the lane in the garden.

And you? What are you thankful for this season? I’d love to hear.