Now that summer is here, many of us are having a little more time to slow down, take off from the regular routine, and give ourselves the gift of enjoying the outdoors and a bit of sunshine. The world of deadlines and demands becomes a little more forgiving, as work and school schedules lighten up a bit and many of our colleagues are off on vacation. We're finding the time to hang out more with friends and family, go to the shore or camping, or just stay home and experiment with new recipes on the grill.
Throughout the winter season, the Earth turns away from the sun, reducing our access to its strong warming light, dropping temperatures, and beckoning us to retreat within where it is quiet and dry. We set up the hearth fires and bundle up in sweaters and socks. Nature, herself, pulls back her energy: animals slow down and enter hibernation, rivers and lakes freeze over, and plants and trees draw back their saps from the fallen leaves and branches, returning it back to their roots where they can grow and forge a stronger foundation for the coming year.