Several years ago I wrote a piece titled 'The Dog Days of Summer.'
I didn't really know what that term meant or where it came from.
I imagined it meant something about dogs and how hot they got on the hottest days of the year, which led them to seek shade and rest under the nearest tree. After doing a little research I discovered this idiom was referring to a constellation that occurred during the time period between July 3 and August 11.
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Not at all what I had thought - and a little disappointing!
For the sake of making the point I want to make today, I am going to ignore that little piece of information and instead focus on what has always felt to me like "The dog days of summer" at this time of year. This is the time to slow down and savor!
It creeps up on my every year right about this time. Summer is waning! 'How can that be?' I wonder. Since it is my favorite time of year I suppose it passes more quickly than the rest.
As with many things that I savor, I find the sweetest moment comes when the end is in sight.
When it comes to the dog days of summer, I have learned to stay with the joy and continue to savor right up to the last moment.
At this time of the season I look at what summer activities I have not yet enjoyed this year. What little, or big, pleasures are special to this time of year, those that only summer affords?
I give myself permission to take off at the drop of a hat and head to the beach.
I take off work a bit early and simply sit in my front yard and enjoy the wonderful afternoon sun.
I go to a live concert or walk in the park after dinner. Even on a week night!
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Just like those dogs that I imagined were the inspiration for the phrase, I find a shady spot under a tree and relax my body and soul.
I have discovered that when I fully savor the 'dog days of summer,' when fall rolls around I am ready to go back to school - back to work - or forward to a new routine, refreshed and happy to be alive.