We all have our favorite activities and pastimes that magnify the summer season. Among the most common are reading novels while swinging in a hammock under a shade tree, watching the sun dance with the branches, sippin’ on an ice- cold- fresh- squeezed big gulp size tumbler of lemonade, jumping out of a tire swing into our favorite swimming hole, and letting our sweat drenched hair form their own string.
A southern pal of mine from the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina once shared with me her favorite childhood summer memory. Her mama would announce the day of their weekly shopping trip into town, where they would always buy a watermelon, for as long as the watermelon spirits were in sync with the sunny season.
This recreational activity required dressing in their best, eating lunch at the local diner, drinking a mandatory six glasses of sweet tea there, and visiting with the entire county in the frozen food section of the local Piggly-Wiggly grocery store.
It was well into late afternoon before the trip was complete. On the drive home, over a bumpy, dusty, road, my friend and her sister would cool themselves down by hanging out the window. Anticipation mounted, and they would be as excited as if Santa were about to visit, because shopping day was the day of the performance of the watermelon celebration!
Upon arriving home, after unpacking the bags of groceries from their car, my friend and her sister would catapult up the stairs into their room and change into their matching pink polka-dot swimsuits. Meanwhile, her mama was down in the kitchen, slicing the watermelon. Their happy watermelon dance was set into motion as they bit into the ripe fruit, with juice dripping down their arms, on their bellies, in their ears…you get the idea.
After the watermelon rind appeared entirely white, they would turn on the water spigot, squealing in delight as they went slipping and sliding across the lawn as they sprayed water from the hose at one another, her mama included!
Although I never shared my friend’s experience as a child, I have initiated this ritual as one of my favorite summertime pastimes. One of the most wonderful qualities we can initiate is our will. Mike Dooley once said, “Thoughts affect our actions; think happy ones.” So I recommend putting on your teeny weeny swimsuit (with a t-shirt cover, if you aren’t as tone as you used to be…) and invoking the child spirit within you to will your own experience of a watermelon celebration. It will be a happy dance you will feel from your toes to your tongue!
This delightful summer ritual is amplified if it is a Sandia Watermelon! As I lay my head on my pillow each night just before entering dream time, I often reflect on what brought me joy that day and tune in to my heart to see what other joyful activities I may weave into my life.