Summer is not only a great time to bask in the sun. It’s also a wonderful time to bask in, and write about, your summer memories.
As soon as Michigan temperatures rise to “reasonably warm,” I find my concentration wanes. The sun on my back is a seductress, bidding me to doze off to sleep under her rays. The wildlife, too, beguiles me, tricking me into thinking there’s plenty of time to watch, photograph, and absorb.
Confession: I’m highly distractible. Every single report card I ever got—even the ones with straight A’s—noted “Inattentive.” It’s not hard for me to find triggers for memories and daydreams.
For those who aren’t so easily taken off track, engaging in the following activities will surely help you trigger many summer memories.
Sit quietly in the sun and listen.
The sounds of backyard summers haven’t changed that much over the years. Do you hear birdcalls? Are bees buzzing? Lawnmowers droning? Kids playing? As you listen, focus on the feel of the sun on your face or back. Oh yeah, did I mention you might want a pen or pencil and paper to jot down some notes?
Engage with nature
Go to water
Another thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the sound of people—especially youth—having fun in water. Go to your local swimming pool, a lakefront beach, or any recreational area with water. Smell the chlorine, lake water, or the ocean; feel the sand, if there is any; and hear the kids yelling and splashing. Summer memories will come flooding back to you.
What did you do as a youth for summer fun? Consider introducing your kids and friends to the activity. (See Now and Then: 8 Summer Memories my Children Won’t Have.) If you’re able, play kickball or pick-up basketball. Go fishing. Set up a sprinkler and run through it or make a slip-n-slide using a tarp, dish soap and water hose. Buy ice cream from a truck. Toast marshmallows over a fire pit. Get a slurpee. Grill hot dogs.
Revisit a family vacation spot
Summer memories will come rushing back as you revisit places you haven’t been for years. (See The Power of Going Back.) Visiting these spots with loved ones is also a great way to share your memories with them. Show them the tree you used to climb or fish in the lake in which you used to fish
Re-Connect with your playmates
In my family, whenever cousins get together, stories of hijinks and snipe hunting quickly come up. Because we lived far away from one another, our times together happened mainly in the summer. Build a bon fire and sit around and reminisce with your long-time friends or relatives. I guarantee you that summer memories will come flooding back.