“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.”
–Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm.”
My favourite time of year is fall. It has been that way since University. As a child, however, my favourite time of year was summer. I imagine that is the case for most people. Summer as a child means summer vacation. Two months, every year, to explore, play and grow. I’d spend my summer days racing around on my bike, playing street hockey, capturing grasshoppers, playing sand tag and swimming at Queen Elizabeth Pool. I’d spend my summer evenings playing board games, raiding gardens, tossing around the football, playing more sand tag and reading in my room until dawn. I lost touch with summer over the years—during my late teens and twenties I spent my summers hiding in dark, cool basements or in the refrigerated confines of a big-box store—but in the past couple years I’ve rediscovered its splendour. I am once again enjoying the heat, the sunlight and the outdoors like I did as a child.
And so this year I decided to make a summer bucket list. That is to say, tasks I’d like to accomplish by the end of August (not tasks I’d like to accomplish by the end of me). I didn’t include the things I already love doing every summer—attending the Edmonton Folk Festival and watching my son play baseball, for example—but instead focused on a couple of achievable personals goals, as well the enjoyment of some of the simple pleasures that summer has to offer. I wanted to remind myself that it’s not always healthy to get drawn into the bigger questions about life. Most of those dillemas are unsolvable, and can drive you mad if you spend all your time reflecting upon them. Sometimes—probably most of the time, actually—its better to just sit back and enjoy the small things. And so here they are. The small things. The simple pleasures. Hopefully, my summer.
My summer bucket list:
- Attend a Capitals day game by myself
- Score a baseball game
- Hit a pop fly and hear the crack of the bat
- Do a weekend writing retreat
- Complete five pieces of writing
- Write a series of baseball haikus
- Watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy over a single weekend
- Howl at the moon
- Watch the sun rise
- Dip my bare feet in a river, stream or lake
- Go on a late night walk
- Feel the cold grass on my feet
- Lie in a field and stare at the stars
- Take a long, deep smell of fresh cut grass
- Watch the Northern Lights
- Go night swimming/skinny dipping
- Dance in the rain
- Watch an evening thunderstorm
- Play a game of chess at the Sugarbowl
- Sit on the Kap house stoop and have a djarum
- Sing songs with my friends
- Make a summer’s eve mixtape
- Play tag in a park
- Drink a slush from Freshco Foods
- Have a popsicle
- Look for a job that, if it doesn’t make me happy, at least won’t make me sad
- Continue the search for Imladris
*Note* I’d like to hear what simple pleasures other people have planned for themselves this summer, and would therefore encourage people to leave their thoughts in the comments. I’m also going to tag the following people I follow on Twitter, and see if they will post their own summer bucket lists on their blogs. We’ll see if it works.
***Update*** I forgot a very important item in my initial list, and need to add it in.
- Spend an afternoon reading underneath the Party Tree (pictured above)