This happy, harmonious 1950’s song from the musical Oklahoma celebrated warmer days, gorgeous blooming flowers, and the opening of parks. Today, the media reports an America on fire, unruly demonstrators, shootings at workplaces, from cars, and between neighbors. What does Summer mean to you?
The 20th Century summer time offered Americans an opportunity to enjoy living easy, watching June Bugs, fireflies, and swinging in a hammock with a glass of lemonade. Hide and seek at dusk, neighbors sitting or swinging on the porch. Card games, checkers, or board games brought on laughter, shouts of joy or groans of loss.
Air conditioning, cable TV, electronic games, give neighbors cool comfort and entertainment. Living easy today depends on comfort and convenience. Heaven forbid if the electricity goes out. Many of us avoid walking, let alone strolling through our neighborhoods as the sun goes down. If we want a better nation, we need to focus on the gifts of summer.
Yes, the days are hot! Air conditioning is a must for our health and our comfort. We need to look for ways to teach our children the joys of summer. The crack of a ball against a bat brings smiles and a sense of satisfaction. A walk through your neighborhood. Take a journey to a safe green spot and take in the sights, sounds, and smells.
A slow stroll through a park with your children or loved one sets a stage for conversations. Ask your partner or children to tell you their choices of sights that make them happy.
Create an ice cream social at home by buying ice cream cones and filling them with your favorite and a few of your families favorite of the cold, creamy taste. Go all out and create a “sundae” gathering. Be brave and ask your neighbor to join you in the joy of the cool taste of a cone or sundae smothered in chocolate, caramel or strawberry syrup.
Neighbors respond to other neighbors who simply say “Hello” to them. If you live in an apartment building, don’t be afraid to say “Hello” with a smile.
Courtesy, kindness, and listening contribute to understanding. Enjoy June’s welcoming of summer and the genuine beauty in our lives.