The Peaceful Days of Summer

Everyday Stories of Peace
Green Scarf Stories, entry nine, September 13, 2014

IMG_2538Those of us living in Sweden are about to say goodbye to warm weather as we head into the winter months with fewer hours of sunlight. Our friends in Uganda, and others who live near the Equator, where sunlight follows a seven-in-the-morning to seven-in-the-evening pattern every day, all year round, don’t have this shift into a period of diminishing sunlight. I’ve been watching how the change in the patterns of light affects our moods and rhythms of life.

IMG_2516Closing this year’s chapter on the warmer months gives me pause to reflect on the adventures and unexpected discoveries my family enjoyed this past summer. We had the opportunity to visit New York City with my brother for one fully-packed beautiful day. In the middle of this concentrated mass of over eight million people, we found the High Line www.thehighline.org, an elevated freight rail line which has been transformed into a public park full of art exhibits, dragonflies, daisies, purple cone flowers and a hard-working crew of honey bees. We spent a wonderful morning exploring this oasis thanks to the creative imagination of those who wanted to keep a bit of nature in the middle of the New York City urban jungle.

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There was also the much cherished peaceful time spent on the coast of Massachusetts catching up with family and friends, listening to the sound of the cicadas, swapping stories, watching the moon, laughing at nothing and everything.

One of the highlights of every summer is visiting my parent’s home. There’s always something new, as well as the comfort of things that do not change. By now my own children know just about every hiding place in the house. Childhood drawings and other creations still hang in various nooks and crannies. Creativity is still valued and nurtured, with love.

Even my grandmother’s artwork remains tucked into the shadows of the garden, reminding us of her. My mother’s mother hailed from Pender Island off the coast of western Canada and because of her formative years as an island person, she could make anything and everything. After all these years, her legacy of creativity is still treasured in my mother’s home. Underneath the crocosmia flowers sits one of her clay frogs, next to a toad planter.

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Amidst the seasonal shifts, there is always comfort in the pansies which my father painted at a young age. Since she first saw it, my mother has loved this painting. She framed his childhood masterpiece and hung it in the living room, over the piano. I love that my mother has always loved this about my father; that she has always seen and valued his inner creative loving self. Here it is.

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

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