KICKASS WITCH : Putting The "K" In Magick
Do you ever feel like there's a gigantic gap between the way you're living now and the life of your dreams? Do you sometimes wish you could wave a magick wand and all of your problems would just disappear so that you could finally step into the kickass life you know you were meant to lead? I can't promise you that transformation is as easy as waving a magick wand, but I do have quite a few tricks up my sleeve and am more than happy to share them with you here. So, chin up, Gorgeous, stick around and, most importantly... BELIEVE!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feel The Heat... Making Peace With Summer!



"The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for 
the wide world's joy." -Henry Ward Beecher


I have a confession to make... I do not like Summer.

I used to love it.

Growing up, Summer meant long days in the swimming pool with my sister & cousins & neighborhood friends. It meant a week of summer camp in the wooded mountains around a lake and weekend vacations at the beach. It also won me several weeks of summer school, which was always way more fun than regular school & centered around the arts... my specialty!

But- something happened as I got older. Depression and anxiety set in sometime during my late teens, I got married, moved away from home, had a baby, lived a mostly solitary indoor life, and was chronically broke as a joke.

There was no swimming pool. There was no air conditioning. Friends were few & far between.

Grown up life was not all it was cracked up to be. It was hard, the Summer especially.

I did finally managed to overcome that pesky anxiety & depression, but every year since- when the dog days of Summer would return they brought with them a kind of heavy lethargy that reminded me all to well of what it was like to feel lifeless & without motivation.

I hate that feeling!

Therefore- I have long hated Summer.

But this year... this year will be different.

I still don't have a swimming pool or air conditioning, but, thanks to my practice of honoring the Wheel Of The Year, I am learning to appreciate the precious, fleeting nature of every season.

And so it is that I have dedicated this summer to making friends with the heat!

I know it will not last- this heat that is creeping up on me even as I type here on the floor next to a box fan set on high...

I know that every 100+ degree heat wave will eventually give way to a few breezy days before starting back up again and that fall will eventually return.

I also know that the sun has it's virtues. For one thing, it makes life here on Earth possible. In fact, in some cultures, the sun is worshiped as a god!


"If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life 
would be my god." -Napoleon Bonaparte


This year, I have made a vow to find the beauty in every Summer day. 

I will eat watermelon by the boatload, make copious amounts of my signature green lemonade, buy one of those inflatable kiddie pools for the backyard & escape into a chilly movie theater on the hottest afternoons.

I will go slow. I will take naps. And I will walk barefoot in gratitude...




I had all this in mind as I was setting up my bright & sunny altar for the Summer Solstice last week, but, when it came time to recycle the dried bits of nature left over from Spring, I couldn't bear to dismantle the lovely bird's nests I'd been displaying there. I couldn't undo all that beautiful, hard work those mamma birds invested in building homes for their precious families...

So- I wrapped them in orange tissue paper, placed them in a box with a lid, and left them on my neighbor's porch with a note for the little girl who lives there, the little girl who endlessly sings at the top of her lungs and has made a buddy of our fattest cat, Stanley.

I told her how Tanner & I found the abandoned nests on a walk one day and that, now that we've gotten to enjoy them for a while, we thought she might like a turn with them too...




Another thing I did for the Summer Solstice was to make Pina Colada smoothies with my kid.

Someone (who shall remain nameless) took my kid to Taco Bell a few weeks ago & bought him a Pina Colada flavored icy.

We don't do Taco Bell, not usually, and we definitely do NOT do sugary drinks.

So- of course, I had to take a sip, and I ain't gonna lie...

It. Was. Amazing. LOL. This is how these fast food corporations lure us in... SUGAR!!!!

That teensy sip of sugar slush packed one heckuva punch. It was a tongue-tingly explosion of sweetness, and I knew that I might lose Tanner to the dark side if I didn't come up with a healthy alternative & stat.

So- I told him that I would make him a real Pina Colada, and that he could help me do it.

Thankfully, he was thrilled by the prospect, and we made ourselves a date. 
   



Making homemade Pina Colada smoothies is the simplest thing in the world.

It takes all of two, count em (One! Two!), ingredients: one young thai coconut and half a pineapple. That's it. Just scoop out the coconut meat & blend it up with the coconut's juice & chopped pineapple. Sooo delicious...

And- I am pleased to report that this recipe is 100% Tanner Approved. CHEERS! -xo



"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." 
-Charlotte Whitton

11 comments:

  1. I also am not so keen on summer, which would normally be putting it lightly but, like you, I'm trying to make my peace with it. After all, summer in North Carolina typically lasts at least six months out of the year (April-October), in terms of climate, and that's a long time to be bummed out. I hate the heat, I hate the humidity, and as a pale, freckly, easily-burned type with a family history of skin cancer, the sun and I have not always been on the best of terms.

    I find, though, that one of the easiest ways to start appreciating summer is to consider the food. Fresh berries! Tomatoes by the boat load! Lemonade and ice cream dates with my man. (I'm not strong like you and haven't managed to give up the sugar yet.) Heading out to the beach at least once during the summer helps boost my summer time enthusiasm, too.

    This was a long comment, but to conclude: I'm so glad I'm not alone! I think I might take your tip and buy an inflatable kiddie pool, too. I have a month between leaving work and having this baby (unless baby gets here early), and mornings spent laying in a kiddie pool in the back yard with a cool drink sounds divine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for kiddie pools! I've spent so many years lamenting the fact that I don't have a pool & then I just thought... well- I could have a pool, even it's only a teeny tiny inflatable one. I could sit in it & read & splash around a bit :O)

      And- FOOD. Yes- that's a great way to appreciate summer. Bring on the berries!!!

      Delete
  2. First of all, I need to make me one of those pina coladas. Second of all, it's funny but in my adult years, I have a much harder time with winter. I've said before that I think it's to do with working a 9-5 and being in the Midwest and not ever seeing the sun. I'm glad you're making a point to enjoy summer, though. It's never good when there's a big chunk of time we dread. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The smoothie is deeeeeeelish!!! Promise. And- you're so right about NOT having a chunk of time we dread. Gotta rock the entire wheel... -xo

      Delete
  3. I can so relate to your feelings about summer. Growing up I loved it, but as an adult it became much harder. I had children and was "trapped" by being "broke as a joke," no air conditioning or pool, and the miserable humidity. Then I began developing allergies, and it seems that every summer lately it has gotten worse. First the seasonal allergies, last year it was food allergies (including that luscious-looking coconut, unfortunately! :( ), and this year it's a sun allergy, of all things! Who knew that was even possible?

    So I've really struggled to appreciate the turn of the wheel to this point. Last year, for the first time, I could revel in the winter because I was finally aware of its transient beauty and the break it gave me from my allergies. This summer I am trying to have a good attitude about being unable to soak in the sun and glory in the power of this season. I find myself more drawn to the moon (when I can be out without being swathed from head to toe), but that is an even greater reminder of the turn of the wheel, because She cycles more quickly than the earth does. I find this sad, but also soothing.

    Thanks for your wonderful insights! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my ambivalence or my quest to appreciate things in spite of it. :) Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gotta love the Wheel Of The Year! It is such a magickal practice. I also love the way you focus on the moon during the Summer months- the weather is certainly more conducive to gazing up at the heavens at night! The night time sounds of Summer are also pretty amazing... crickets, frogs, and right now, random, anticipatory pops of fireworks! MUCH LOVE & Many Blessings to you :O)

      Delete
  4. I am feeling you on the 'loving summer when you were a kid' thing...but it does feel a bit...heavier(?) now. I love that you're embracing and re-exploring the relationship with this season: I hope it's your best one ever. xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  5. I grew up between The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (I spend the most years in Puerto Rico) we used to have pina coladas piraguas (shaved iced dessert) almost daily to combat the heat and the sun.
    In Puerto Rico we didn't have central air but fans and open windows and only some room in the house (usually the master bedroom) had an air conditioning window unit.
    I understand the love hate relationship and how the summer months activities and expectations change as we grow older. I'm so happy that you are embracing the sun and all the heat that comes with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow... it must have been HOT growing up there! I am definitely going to make every effort to go with flow of the hot hot heat this summer. THANKS for the warm wishes, Ofelia! Have a beautiful Summer :O)

      Delete
  6. Hi Joanna! I totally feel you on the dislike of summer time. I have never liked it. I burn. I sweat. I melt. It just does not work out for me...lol I too have been trying to develop, if not a like for Summer as a whole, at least a respect for the bits and pieces of it that I find sanctuary in while I await Fall and Winter to return. As always thank you for the beautiful insights! (I cannot wait to try out that pina colada smoothie!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea of finding sanctuary while waiting for fall to return. Autumn is my favorite time of year! And that smoothie is so YUM :0D

      Delete