I have always looked forward to September. As it is for many of us, it's a time for new beginnings. So much more than January, which, for me, is about stillness and contemplation.
But last year and this year, I feel no special affinity for September and no new beginning. I can't help thinking that is because, for the second year in a row, I didn't take time for myself, to replenish. I was too busy in the doing, and “making something of myself.” Truth be told, this may well have been happening for more summers than even I realize.
We live for summer here in Canada. It’s the time to make up for the months of cold and dark. Many of us play hard and stay up late to cram in as much of summer into our souls as we can. I never felt this so strongly as I did when I lived in Yellowknife, which has 20 hours of light in peak summer and 20 hours of darkness in winter.
This past weekend, I took the entire Labour Day weekend off and it felt delightful. We spent the weekend at my in-laws and they live five minutes from the beach, which is glorious. Today, my little wants to play hooky, but my adult self is saying no. Boo!
I miss being excited about autumn, dammit!
‘How many more summers do I have?’ is what I’ve been asking myself today. Not in a maudlin way, but why am I spending these precious days indoors when I could be enjoying the sunshine, turning over rocks in tide pools to see the ecosystems underneath — making the most of the long, lazy days of summer?
Because I’m adulting
Ahhhh… there's the connection. There is a little girl inside all of us and she wants to play and wonder and take her time, but I insist on hurrying her up. Do you remember that as a child? Your mother always in a hurry because she had so many responsibilities? I do. It makes me grateful to have been a young child in the sixties, when we essentially spent the daylight hours outside so our mothers could do mother stuff and we could do kid stuff.
Listening to the child within
On the last Sunday in August, I held a live journaling workshop on connecting with our inner child through journaling (one of the many perks of being a member of Wild Woman Journaling). I’ve had many chats with my l’il kath, but when one of the participants, whose told me her chilhood nickname was Cacky, I could feel my own little jumping up and down with excitement in her seat. When it came time for her to talk, the first thing she said was, “I want you to call me kacky, just like Carola’s Cacky!” It’s funny that I never thought of it before, as it’s the name my father used to call me, which came from my big sister not being able to say Kathy, but instead said kacky.” So, kacky my little is now.
We asked our cacky/kackys what she wanted us to know and then in the second writing, we asked what she wanted to do that day. My little wanted to go outside and walk barefoot in the grass. She was very careful to ask me to watch for bees because she didn’t want to get stung. I took my dog, Lulu, out for a walk with me and we popped in to our deserted neighbourhood park. I let Lulu go, then took off my shoes and walked around the park. It felt cool and squishy, and a little weird, and I instantly felt more connected and grounded in the earth’s energies. Our littles are wise, even if they only want to have fun. The rest of the walk I let kacky lead me and it was a slow, meandering walk, which Lulu adored, because lately she’s more about the sniffing than the exercise. It was probably the most peaceful walk I’ve ever had. I felt the simple joy of being outside on a perfect summer day.
Making playdates with our littles
I love how my Wild Woman Journaling group members are embracing listening to the desires of their littles. On the day this post will go live, I’ve actually arranged a play date with a group member who is willing to share her little Angie with my little kacky. We’re going to a park nearby to swing on the swings and play. Who knows what we’ll end up doing, but I can hardly wait. I don’t even know how long it’s been since I’ve been on swings! We’ve made sure to save some time for a hot chocolate afterwards as a treat for our girls. Just writing this has my little kacky squirming with excitement. The adult in me says I hope there’s no kids there, but if the swings are full, we’ll find something to do, I’m sure… at least until it’s our turn. Teeter-totter, teeter-totter li’l kacky is saying!
Listen to your little’s pleas
Do you ever pass a scene of kids doing something you used to LOVE to do as a child? Do you get this little quickening that makes you want to join in for a moment or two before the adult takes over and you shake your head and move on? Yeah, that’s your little saying, “Let’s go play!” When you deny yourself that moment of fun, you may feel a sense of sadness or disappointment. Yeah, that’s your little hurting because once again, you’ve ignored her.
Listen up! Try giving into her desires just once and see if it doesn’t make you feel good too. When we honour and take care of the little girl inside of us, she is happier -- which means you will be too. And if you don’t listen, eventually she will make you listen… you know this about her, don’t you?
We spend so much time rushing from one thing to the next, telling ourselves “I just have to finish one more thing…” until we run out of time.
How many more summers do you have?
MAKE TIME FOR FUN!
kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students to help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women in realizing their true identity as wild women, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)