This summer was my most anticipated one ever. Not because I know it’s going to be the best one in the history of my life, although that’s true as well, but because it was the first year I could really see the huge contrast between summertime and the school year.
Since I’ve mostly been homeschooled until this year, and I’ve never really had much of a workload or traditional academic classes, summer used to blend in with my schooling. I took free time for granted, and my big summer projects like county fair or fundraisers for my nonprofit, Jungleheroes, seemed similar to what I did the rest of the year.
So I didn’t expect the utter joy I would feel at putting down my pencil at the end of my last final, or the incredible feeling of freedom I would experience when I was finally able to spontaneously take off for hours on a hike or bike ride with no deadlines to worry about. Now, summer means time to be with my family and friends, to work in the garden, to do archery, to go to beach or woods for bike rides and hikes, to spend a day making jam. Summer means sitting in front of a campfire roasting a marshmallow, taking all the time in the world to get it perfectly golden and puffed (unless you’re a blackened marshmallow kind of person, in which case you have the freedom to torch those marshmallows to your heart’s desire).
Today is my tenth day of summer, and I’ve already made and eaten lot of kale and mango salad, strawberry popsicles, apricot ice cream, iced chai, strawberry jam, lemonade, s’mores, and banana boats. I’ve improved a lot at archery, reached my goal to be able to easily run two miles early, and trimmed back both of our raspberry patches. I’ve also been doing a lot of photography, for both the blog and the blog’s Instagram.
Scanning my Instagram feed, I saw a friend’s post about their idea for a new hashtag, #TodayBecauseToday. “Life is precious. This year in our county we’ve experienced three suicides at just one of our high schools.” This is tragic. Use the hashtag #TodayBecauseToday to shout out to the social media world and to anyone who may question the value of their life, with photos of life, love, you, family, and friends.
#TodayBecauseToday it’s summer! Life is wonderful! Today I’m with my family. I’m seizing the day, picking every apricot off the tree while its ripe, devouring the fruit, juice dripping down my chin. Today I’m flying off the zipline, climbing trees, and feeling sand between my toes. #TodayBecauseToday.