The Gifts of Summer

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Hey everybody, gather round, here it is, it’s what we wait for all year long: summertime with all its gifts. When I googled The Gifts of Summer,  (isn’t it funny now how we use Google as a verb now?) I received millions of results (I do exaggerate, it’s true) like candles, wine suggestions, cocktail glasses and bbq accessories.

I had to laugh like this: BWAHAHAHA. Are these the real gifts of this time we wait for all year long? No, I said.

These are the gems: Like Popsicles, sunny days, alfresco meals and no snowsuits. Vacation, meeting up with friends, bike rides and bathing suits. (Well, bathing suits is a little contentious, not as much fun as when I was 18 years old and me and my friend Annie bought matching teeny bikinis with feathers for our trip to Daytona Beach.) But still, bathing suits are useful for swimming.

Here’s a lovely summertime gift from the universe: a rainbow nestled into a cloud. Photo: Rose Pereira

But then I started to think, What about people whose paths aren’t exactly flooded with light this summer? Whose hearts are heavy? Who feel like they should be happy right along with all the people in the rest of the world who are gentler, kinder, happier during the summertime – but they aren’t feeling it?

And so, I thought I would pass along a few gifts to them.

1.The gift of energy
This is for all the people who are unemployed, like my son Jonny, who has just graduated and sends out resumés every day like it’s his job, and is getting down about it. It may take a long time, but you have to believe that you will get work – eventually it will happen. And there is nothing to do but get up every morning, tie your shoelaces and get on with it. The more queries you put out for work, the bigger chance you have of landing a job. Trust that this will happen for you. And dig deep to find the energy within you to keep going.

2. The gift of inner peace
This is for my coworker Simone, who lost her father recently. Grief is really something to be reckoned with. It washes over you in such unexpected moments and the tears come. Let yourself feel the pain and the loss, you will somehow, some way, get through this. Be brave, you are stronger than you think. And you won’t always go to sleep every night with the heaviness and wake up with it. Bit by bit, time will take its course, and you will have breakthrough moments of joy and laughter.

3. The gift of acceptance
I guess this one is one gift that I’m giving myself and anyone else who sometimes feels a little bit like they aren’t where they thought they would be at this point in their lives. Maybe it’s that European vacation you wanted to take but can’t afford right now, maybe you’re going through a breakup, maybe you’re tired and you have no balance in your life, maybe you thought you’d be living a totally different life. It starts with you: love yourself and accept that you are where you should be right now. And remember, you have options and free will. If you don’t like something, you have the power to change it.

How about you? Are you accepting any gifts now?