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Litha Slow Living Ideas
If there was ever a time to slow down, Summer would surely be it: the holiday season is upon us, days are long and languid and the mercury rises. But I know – thanks to the pressures of social media perhaps – there can still seem a need to be busy or productive, seeing and being seen, days out, doing stuff, buying stuff. As a society, we’re addicted to busyness. And stuff.
At this time of year I often feel a bit flat. Partly it’s because the school year has ended and I’m feeling burnt out; partly it’s because of this FOMO; partly it’s because Summer is just not my time of year (I know, I know - but I’m such an Autumn/Winter person, in spite of my personal mission to celebrate all seasons. Tell me I’m not the only one!). Today’s newsletter is as much a reminder to myself to slow down and take stock of the season - and the irony not lost on me as I write this from bed, recovering from a migraine. Here are four ideas to get us started: mindful moments that make the most of Summer’s bounty in the period between Litha, Midsummer, and Lùnastal, the start of harvest season in the Celtic Wheel of the Year, a time of abundance and light.
Slow Summer in the Kitchen:
I love to potter in the kitchen, not least in Summer. Podding peas is one of my favourite seasonal kitchen jobs, even if half of them don’t make it to the bowl (call it chef’s perk!) there’s something comforting about such a repetitive task. Ditto watching a pot of simmering fruit compote, or making jams or curds; plus, these makes taste miles better unrushed. It’s a win win – culinary therapy.
The peak of Summer sees the height of garden party and village fête season. Take part in smaller, local events that are still happening, or why not create your own Summer celebration at home? If you’re stuck for inspiration you could make it themed: a colour, a cuisine, a country, a flower, an ingredient… Get your guests to bring something to share the joy (and prep!).
Here in Scotland it’s still light past 10 p.m. and the evenings seem to stretch on into infinity. Make the most of the longer evenings by going for a walk at golden hour, soaking up every last drop of light. Even just opening the window wide to let in that glorious warm light and the scent of Summer can make all the difference. I see this time as storing up fuel for the short days of Winter later on, topping up on light and brightness for the months ahead.
Visit a Garden
I love nothing more than a day trip to a nearby garden taking in the sights, smells and sounds of Summer in full bloom. Be sure to practise some mindfulness – shut your eyes and focus on all your other senses, being completely in the moment. Make a special day of it by choosing a spot slightly further afield than your usual day‑to‑day, and take a flask and/ or a picnic with Summer sustenance.
Tell me, what are you doing to slow down this Summer? Leave a comment below or hit reply!