Summer Thoughts in a Winter World.

It's February, which for college students means applying to internships. If you're on top of things, you applied back in December; if you're behind (like me), you started applying a few weeks ago. 

Most questions are along the same lines: why do you want this internship? What are your strengths, your weaknesses? Describe your leadership experience. 

As I was filling out an application this past week, I stumbled across a different one: Tell us your favorite thing about summer. 

There are so many summer things I treasure - no school, watermelon, grilling out, vacations - but the first thing that popped into my mind was none of these. Instead, it was the night. 

"Some of my fondest memories are after the sun sets. As the day dwindles to a close, the air shifts from hot and muggy to muggy and cool.

Having eaten dinner outside, my family will sit and talk for hours with only the porch lights providing illumination. The crickets will sing their songs, we’ll laugh at each other’s silly jokes and eat ice cream straight from the carton.

Some nights we’ll take our dogs for a walk, or rather, be walked by our two chocolate labs.

For a brief time period, fireflies will make their grand appearance. At first one, then two, then a dozen twinkling through the darkness. They instantly transport me to my childhood, as I ran after their lights to place them in my critter carrier. (Yet I often woke up to them dead – sad, but true).

These bugs take me back to the summer of 2008, in a Dunlap, Tennessee, backyard. That was the summer a dear family friend deteriorated from cancer…we would drive up often, to care for her and her kids.

One night in particular, I remember chasing around fireflies with her two toddlers, grabbing handfuls of blueberries from her bushes as we ran.

Thank you for asking me that question – I had forgotten that memory in the middle of winter. @@Winter does that – it makes you forget the beauty of summer and the memories it holds.@@"

Sometimes we are more winter people than summer people - we don't let ourselves feel or think certain thoughts or emotions. Instead, we shut them down the moment they begin to creep in - essentially, we shut ourselves down in a sort of hibernation. Sometimes, it seems easier that way. 

But summer is full of life - swimming and exploring and bike-riding. It's full of freedom (for us school-aged people). 

@@Emotionally and mentally, I'd rather live in freedom than hibernation.@@

Allowing myself to feel the good and bad, to remember the good and bad. Without feelings and without memories, I would have no reason to be grateful, to rejoice over my mighty God, to smile at the thought of summer nights.

Here's to being summer people thinking summer thoughts in a winter world.