1. Lovely Cath. On my journey I have found this as well–though not imposed by me–I embrace the time I have to really be present and to be. I also found myself dreaming childhood summer dreams in Maryland. While not financially well off, my siblings and I had summers of down time–yes chores and swim team practice, but also long hours of play, listening to nature and simply being. I am sad for all the kids raised with the pressure to be productive, “do” things all summer, or simply wrapped up in their technology. I am betting, however, as more parents take notice of what their kids are missing, there will be more parents creating time for kids to just be, taking away cell phones and computers for weeks at a time (right now I am hearing about “sabbath Sundays” where families don’t allow any internet or technology connection, much like the Orthodox Jews on Saturdays), and relearning the art of hanging out. However, I must admit that due to worsening economics, this will be families who are solidly in the Working/ Middle Class who can enjoy the peace. The rest of the kids will be either left alone in a latch-key, not so supportive way, be put in camps, and or be helping make money somehow for the family to survive. So I recognize what privilege we have to remember and relearn to just pause and deeply listen to the nature around us, and for that I am incredibly grateful, like you.

    • Jen says:

      Beautiful, Cath! ❤️

      • Carmen Lofgren says:

        Beautiful Cat! I was just talking about how I’d like my days to be like when I’m retired. Very similar to what you said, I’d love to wake up, meditate, have a cup of coffee that I can savor & fully enjoy, do a short workout or walk on the beach, come home and work on my projects, then perhaps enjoy another walk. I try to be grateful for all the wonderful things each day has to give and I fully immerse myself in nature, that’s when I feel closest to God..Everyday has its miracles and gifts, perhaps one of these days will give me a delicious home made pie 😉