If you’ve never experienced summer in the Midwest, I highly recommend you try it. While the temperature can be sweltering and the humidity can be thick, summer in the Midwest provides a unique atmosphere. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to lie on my raft in the pool and just relax. Just the other day I was doing this very activity, and I began to absorb my surroundings. I was able to listen to the water ripple across the pool as it was being pushed out through the jets. I could hear the locusts in the background making that clicking noise that is so well-known to Midwesterners. As I looked around, I realized I was surrounded by a halo of Pin Oak trees that have these gorgeous, large leaves that flutter in the wind. I was also surrounded by flowering trees, such as the apple tree in my backyard and the redbud trees providing wonderful shade. A dragonfly floated through the air across me and landed on my knee, as I drifted aimlessly around the pool by the force of the jets. From one side of the pool to the other, I felt like I was the ball in a game of Pong.
In times like these, my mind takes me back to when my kids were little, and the pool was all they wanted every day. They couldn’t wait to invite their friends over to go swimming. They filled each day with splashing and giggling. I remember the times when I was required to be Shamu and dive to the bottom of the pool with them riding on my back. I remember the swimming lessons that occurred each week at my house and the treat box that was saved for a sweet delight after lessons. I remember the other moms and I making the kids sit out and give us quiet time on our rafts in the pool. During that time, it just seemed like it would never be peaceful and quiet around the pool. Yet, today I float, surrounded by peace.
Back in those days, I didn’t take the time to look at the water rippling, to hear the locusts, to see the dragonfly, or to watch the leaves flutter. But I am so grateful for all of the experiences past and present. Perhaps those crazy, chaotic times are what helps me appreciate these quiet, peaceful times even more.
I think it is a great idea to spend time with your child and teach them how to be mindful and listen to the summer sounds. It could be a great bonding experience for you both. Like I said, if you’ve never had the opportunity to experience a summer in the Midwest, I highly encourage you to take a trip and experience it. But, if a trip isn’t in your immediate future, you can practice mindfulness anywhere at any time.
What I have learned: Summer sounds of the Midwest are amazing. Take a listen
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.