fall - winter - spring

   it's summer!


Summer afternoon--summer afternoon; to me those have always
been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Edith Wharton


Welcome to summer, that glorious time of the year
when most of us can put on our shorts and short-sleeved shirts
and actually feel the air and sunlight on our skin. When we don't
have to turn up the heat in the morning when we get up. But also
when we lay hot and sweaty in bed, unable to sleep at times
(those of us who don't have air conditioning, anyway), when we
get the sunburn and the heatstroke and all those wonderful things.
No matter how we see it, summer has a magic that we can't deny--
all four seasons do.  Here's a page devoted to those who have
addressed that magic.
Enjoy the page, and please, enjoy your summer!


Once upon a time, I know not where,
I know not when.  A dream, may be,
Out of a pine wood, unaware,
I stepped upon a quiet lea.

And on the quiet meadow I
Saw all around a carpet spread,
Far as the line where land meets sky,
Of motionless blown poppies red.

And on the blood-red carpet lay,
Regarded of a thousand flowers,
A lovely, tired summer day
In first sleep of the sunset hours.
No breath.  No sound.  A bird in flight
The air of evening scarce does cleave,
I scarcely see his stretched wings smite,
A black line in the fragrant eve.

Once upon a time, I know not when,
Long, long ago.  A dream, may be,
But I can see it now as then,
The silent, purple poppy-sea.

Gustav Falke

As the days go on toward July, the earth becomes dry and all the flowers begin
to thirst for moisture.  Then from the hillside, some warm, still evening,
the sweet rain-song of the robin echoes clear, and next day we wake up
to a dim morning; soft flecks of cloud bar the sun's way, fleecy vapors
steal across the sky, the southwest wind blows lightly,
rippling the water into little waves
that murmur melodiously as they kiss the shore.

Celia Thaxter


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John Clare

Summer is a prodigal of joy. The grass
Swarms with delighted insects as I pass,
And crowds of grasshoppers at every stride
Jump out all ways with happiness their guide;
And from my brushing feet moths flit away
In safer places to pursue their play.
In crowds they start. I marvel, well I may,
To see such worlds of insects in the way,
And more to see each thing, however small,
Sharing joy's bounty that belongs to all.
And here I gather, by the world forgot,
Harvests of comfort from their happy mood,
Feeling God's blessing dwells in every spot
And nothing lives but owes him gratitude.

Sultry, steaming, sweltering. . . .Slow down.  Or stop.  It's time to shed ambition and
expectation, along with commutes, clothing, cellular phones, calendars.  Now our wants
seem to diminish.  Is it because our needs are met?  A shady nook, a cold drink, a cool
breeze--whether indoors or out.  A respite from the rigors of the day.  Time off for good
behavior.  Summer is not so much a season as a melody, that tune of contentment we
hum as the days begin to beautifully blur.  The pursuit of happiness becomes our personal
priority this month, as the sweet strains of . . . Harmony start to be heard in our hearts.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Summer is a sailor in a rowboat and ice-cream on your dress when
you're four years old.  Summer is a man with his coat off, wet sand
between your toes, the smell of a garden an hour before moonrise.
Oh, summer is silk itself, a giant geranium and
music from a flute far away!

Michael Brown


Hyla Brook

By June our brook's run out of song and speed.
Sought for much after that, it will be found
Either to have gone groping underground
(And taken with it all the Hyla breed
That shouted in the mist a month ago,
Like ghost of sleigh-bells in a ghost of snow)--
Or flourished and come up in jewel-weed,
Weak foliage that is blown upon and bent
Even against the way its waters went.
Its bed is left a faded paper sheet
Of dead leaves stuck together by the heat--
A brook to no one but who remember long.
This as it will be seen is other far
Than with brooks taken otherwhere in song.
We love the things we love for what they are.

Robert Frost



Summer Shower

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Emily Dickinson


A porch is the only real reward you need after a long summer's day.

Shawn Sell

Summertime, oh, summertime, pattern of life indelible,
the fade-proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture
with the sweet fern and the juniper forever and ever. . .

E.B. White

Oh, how beautiful is the summer night, which is not night, but a sunless,
yet unclouded, day, descending upon earth with dews and shadows and
refreshing coolness!  How beautiful the long mild twilight, which,
like a silver clasp, unites today with yesterday!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Summer Fields

How green and bright they are!  How still they lie!
The summer fields out-stretching in the sun:
An emerald glory, sharp as any cry,
Dipping beneath the racing winds that run
Across the summer day on swift light feet,
To silver the little leaning, laughing grass,
To gild the tossing beads of ripening wheat.

Here is peace to store within the breast
Against the days of tumult and despair.
Within this cool green light the heart can rest,
The body strengthens in the clear clean air,
The soul grows tall, the viol-string tensions cease
Here in this summer stillness, summer peace.

Grace Noll Crowell


All green and fair the summer lies,
Just budded from the bud of spring,
With tender blue of wistful skies,
And winds that softly sing.

Susan Coolidge


What do I want to take home from my summer vacation?  Time.
The wonderful luxury of being at rest.  The days when you
shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track
and let life simply wander.  The days when you stop planning,
analyzing, thinking and just are.  Summer is my period of grace.

Ellen Goodman


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a
summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the
clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

John Lubbock

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.

Sam Keen

In summer, the song sings itself.

William Carlos Williams

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.

James Dent

Summer makes a silence after spring.

Vita Sackville-West

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and
the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those
days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.

Ada Louise Huxtable

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence
and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness
and labor, that summer reading belongs.

Henry Ward Beecher


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.
My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music.
It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.

Violette Leduc

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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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