An article from Texas Monthly magazine showed up on my Instagram feed. “Think Seasonal Affective Disorder is a Winter Thing? Try Living Through Texas Summer.” The post was about how “exposure to excessive heat can affect our frame of mind: serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the body that regulates mood, fluctuates with the heat.”
I am not alone. It is a real thing!
Justified, I poked around a little more to find that August can carry heaviness as summer (regretfully) wanes, and we return to a more regular (mundane, to some) rhythm for September through May. Some families feel loss as they experience their children growing older and going away as August is the threshold of the school year. For me, the joy of gardening dims: the plants struggle in my flower beds and blooms diminish (with some plants getting downright crispy). There’s the sweaty chore (no matter what time of day) of watering and the ethical struggle of how much water is fair to use in drought conditions. Yes, Ughust is on.
Inspired by another article about “How to Preserve Children,” I pondered what I might do to preserve August – or, maybe better said, preserve myself in and through August.
And, so I have been working on a recipe for some Summer joy–adding a heaping cup full of outdoors (without whining that I wish it wasn’t so hot), pouring out a tablespoon of good reading, spreading out a creative sewing project, stirring in some fresh spiritual practices, whipping up some time at a local coffee shop (a change of venue for working and reading),…
The “shopping” for ingredients has called for some intentionality (and some spontaneity).
- A “Weekly Events” section in the local paper highlighted a session of “Forest Therapy”. This was on a Sunday morning and the time outdoors became my church time that day.
- Waiting for a morning event to start in Houston recently, I sat on a bench, listened to birds, watched lizards, and enjoyed a nearby water fountain.
Truly, the month is going by faster than I expected. No, I’m not turning things upside down to be slappy happy. Intentionally choosing some delight in order to “preserve” myself in this august month of August has allowed me to turn Ughust into a bit more of an Awegust.