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to sum(mer) up

image: Kimberly painting a freehand watercolor pattern

Being the autumn child that I am, summer has always been a challenge--something to get through in order to arrive on cold sidewalks with crisp autumn air, leaves crunching beneath my booted feet. Residing in sunny Southern California means our spring-to-summers are long, and our autumn-to-winters are brief, but blissful.

This summer is particularly challenging for me, and I find myself daydreaming of a northward migration to the green lands of Washington (but, I'll save my daydreaming for another time). The warm mornings and even hotter afternoons wear on my cold-weather spirit. Yet, I have always appreciated one aspect of summer.

Ever since childhood, summertime meant a change of pace, a change of environment. School doors closed and days were filled with doing nothing and doing everything. We didn't see the people we were used to seeing everyday, but we had unrestrained time playing pretend in the backyard and going on adventures that we made up as we went along. This elongated recess altered pace and focus and my little state of being.

In adulthood, most of us no longer experience three months freedom from work and concentration, yet I still associate this season with a sense of pause. Summer has come to signify a time for reflection and quiet moments for evaluating where I've been lately, which direction I'm heading, and whether or not new dreaming will lead to a shift in destination.

In this way, I'll try to make my peace with summer and keep tiffs and complaints to a minimum. For reflection brings about new thoughts, and new thoughts bring about new ideas, and new ideas bring about new goals. And even summer leads us, eventually, to autumn.

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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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