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August 2005

Your Mind's Eye

By Juliana Leslie

Summertime is everything and more than the Country Time Lemonade commercials. Our memories contain so many special moments that are a part of the wondrous freedom we all feel during the months of summer. New stimuli wake up our senses and are recorded so that when we see, smell, taste, touch or hear any one of them later in our lives, we'll always be transported back to that first time. Savoring summer is a natural phenomenon. Close your eyes, and in your mind's eye, remember...

The gentle breeze through the open window, tickles you awake. The birds are singing their morning songs and together with the warm sunshine, you are drawn outside. You smell the damp earth and wood and step into the dewy grass. Your feet become cool and wet and covered in grass clippings. You spy a toad and try to catch it. It disappears into the garden and you lose it among the strawberries. The earth is soft and already warmed from the morning sun. You have the whole day ahead of you. It's going to be hot. You know this because the cicadas are already hissing. You can hear them, but you don't ever see them.    

The river is beckoning so you run inside and put on your bathing suit. This is the perfect day for floating down the river. The water is cold, but it feels refreshing as the sun has risen directly overhead. You lean back and close your eyes and take in all the sounds of the river... the splash your hands make as you paddle through the cool water, the buzzing of the electrical lines overhead, a plane off in the distance, a lawn mower up ahead, the rushing and swirling of the water current, a fish jumping to catch a fly. You can smell the water, that slightly fishy, wet smell that combines with the wildflowers, cedars, water logged wood and earth that tells you you're on a river not a lake.You open your eyes and peer downstream at the silver ribbon of water that lies ahead of you. The sky is clear, deep blue without a cloud today.

You roll off your tube and gasp as the cold water encompasses you. Your feet touch the river bottom and they sort out rocks, sand and wood. There's salt on your tongue as you moisten your lips. Sweat has formed just above your upper lip. It's a hot day. A dragonfly spies your shoulder and sees it as a nice, dry ride down the river. You can see its shiny green body and cellophane wings and feel delight at the connection you have made. You realize how alive you feel in the summer, and as you look around you, all you see is life. There is so much life happening at this time of year that it's almost impossible to picture this same scene in the winter, with only the moving water of the river being constant. You drink it all in, savoring every bit. Tonight you'll have a fire in the pit by the river.   There'll be marshmallows, shooting stars, sticky fingers and as you stir the fire, sparks will dance in the darkness and mingle with the fireflies that keep you company on warm, summer nights.  

Oh, to be able to take everything that makes summer so special, place it lovingly in a treasure box and slide it gently beneath our beds to open on a cold, white, frozen day...

But you can. Savor those wonderfully warm moments of summer and capture them in your own mind's eye.  

Juliana Leslie, M.A. Ed., is certified in Holistic Health through WMU and completed a two year mentorship with Shakti Gawain. She offers retreats for women and is the proprietor of Whispering Waters Bed and Breakfast Retreat. www.whisperingwatersbb.com or 888-880-5557.


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