Summer Salt

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The following piece was written by Kathy Hartsell, a fellow yoga instructor and mind/body practitioner who studies alongside the Mind Body Dancer® community. She writes from Boston, MA.

For weeks each year, the summer sun playfully stretches beyond its regular curfew to deliver an abundance of light that almost makes life feel lasting and permanent. Knowing that the treasures of the season breathe just beyond the concrete, we sprint outwards to collect various shades of blue and green, our shoulders wearing a little less weight, a little more sun. When obligated to remain in our city jungles, we forgive occasional afternoons that feel oppressively hot and are amused to find that the same turmeric tea promising to thaw us out next winter tastes good here, over ice. Just when our skin begins to feel uncomfortably sticky, we sense a cool rain arriving, and we know to find relief in water if it doesn’t find us first.  Most of these summer days, the sky tips our faces upward and it feels good to remember just how small we stand amongst all this wonder.

Summer slips us a gentle kumbhaka, wedging spaciousness between all that moves in.out.in.out…in…out. But, although these current days may still appear generously wide, I have noticed the sun is retreating earlier, while cooler, cleaner air weaves its way into the evening breeze. Already, it’s the tail of summer. Summer’s days are long, but its season is fleeting, just like the very childhoods we often associate with it. I hold such contrast with reverence. I sit and feel that all of it adds up but to a blink.

This fall, I gather my heart and take it to meet our daughter for the first time. The 20+hour flight will likely be a century long, while the following ten years will surely be four seconds. And here, now, as I watch summer stroll away, I remember that of course I can’t adjust time to suit rhythms I’d prefer—long summers, short flights, long lives. It stings a little at first, like summer salt, to see that my hands can’t possibly manage or control these big things. But once my arms stop flailing and I accept what I cannot do, I see that my hands are now free—free to love and share this fleeting summer of a life.

–Kathy Hartsell

Photo by Tomas Kostadinov

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