September = Love Where You Live This Indian Summer
Indian summer…what comes to mind when you hear that phrase? For those of us in the Midwest, it means warm days, cool nights and mornings for a spell after we’ve had a frost. Those warm days are warm enough to swim, especially if the Great Lakes haven’t turned yet. Wide open, empty September beaches after the crowds have gone home are a lovely thing to enjoy. Cold nights mean we can snuggle in with the windows open and enjoy falling asleep with the fresh air and sounds of crickets. Cool mornings are perfect for layers and coffee while I can still sit on my front porch and work on my laptop and watch neighborhood kids walk to school. I love Indian summer where we live and am grateful when we have it.
I was curious where the term Indian Summer came from and I discovered the earliest usage in writing was in 1778, although it is widely thought to already have been in use by that date. Some suggest Native Americans called the unseasonably warm time after a frost, a form of “summer” due to being able to harvest late. Others think European settlers used the phrase due to various Native American activity during this season. Either way, it is definitely a season of extra warmth, and an unexpected gift that we can’t take for granted since we don’t know how long it will last, but probably won’t last long.
I think about how so many of my friends have kids heading away from home for the first time or have kids heading back to college or moving out. It is a bittersweet time - we raise them to be independent and successful and leave our homes, but miss them and feel the emptiness sharply and are unsure of what this new season will look like. I have been in a different season all summer - my son has not been home due to consequences he’s facing for poor choices made. He is facing them head on and bravely with no excuses and I am so very proud of him. Through this incredibly hard season, there has beautiful, even joyful things. Great conversations every afternoon with my son, handwritten notes of encouragement, fascinating discussions on literature since he is reading so much, good one-on-one time with my daughter…so much change and growth in both my kids.
This season has been an unexpected gift, filled with warmth that I didn’t see coming and that I don't take for granted since I don’t know how long it will last. What unexpected and good things do you see in the midst of your Indian Summer? I hope you can take the time to enjoy this season!