I’m 50 years old and I have never outgrown the effect summer has over me. Every year when the days get longer, the temperature climbs into the 80’s and the lightening bugs appear at night, I feel like a kid again. I want to get up early, stay out late, and enjoy every minute of the season before its gone.
I grew up on a small farm, so our summers were full of picking strawberries, hoeing rows of corn, shelling peas and climbing apple tress. From dawn to dark we were outside – and with a flashlight we extended the day with a game of flashlight tag. Our parents taught my brother, sister and I how to grow all the farm’s vegetables and fruits. We learned the names of all the birds we heard and could pick them out by their calls. As a biology teacher, our father taught us the name of every tree, bug, weed and flower we saw.
So what did I do with this “nature girl” background? I grew up, majored in accounting and finance, and have worked in an office environment since I was 18! Still, every summer I want to move my desk outside.
Today when I read about the obesity epidemic in children in the US, I can’t help but wonder if a summer spent outside would help slow the trend. We can’t push back the tide of soft drinks, McDonalds , video games and all the changes that they have brought to childhood, but getting out and involved in the outdoors would be a great defense.
My grandson is only four months old, but I am already looking forward to climbing trees and chasing lightening bugs with him in the summers to come!