A still morning on Grafton Pond

Seasonal Balance: Summer

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Erin McCabe

Water, frozen treats, and gardening

Summer is my favorite season and is a time for being around water, enjoying frozen treats and getting dirty in the garden. These activities are a great balance to the busyness, heat, and humidity that summer can also bring. Read on for a few of my favorite places to enjoy the water, my recipe guideline for a healthy frozen treat, and a few exercises to do to balance time in the garden.

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Whether it is time to be on the water or in the water, I always find extreme joy and release during these adventures. There are so many ponds, lakes and rivers so close to us in the Upper Valley and all over New England, so these are just a few of my favorite local go to spots.

Goose Pond - when I need a quick dip without a lot of hassle, there is a beach at the south end and a boat launch on Goose Pond at the middle of the pond

A picture perfect summer day at Goose Pond

Grafton Pond - when I want to be surrounded by loons and serene wildlife

Enjoying the loons at Grafton Pond

Bicknell Brook and Crystal Lake - when I want to take a walk with my dogs and get a quick soak in the small falls

Just imagine the peaceful sound of these small falls on a warm summer day at Bicknell Brook

Mascoma Lake - when I am lucky to have friends invite me for a day of boating and rope jumping or if I want to take a quick walk to the sand bar off the rail trail for a quick dip

A rope swing on Mascoma Lake

Other great areas are anywhere along the White River, many places along the Ottauquechee and Connecticut Rivers, Lake Morey, and the list could go on.

I am also a sucker for delicious frozen treats in the summer. I try to keep it healthy with homemade smoothies most often, but almost always say yes to a Mac's Maple Creemee and Dairy Twirl. Here is my guideline for a healthy, delicious, and filling smoothie:

  • 2 heaping handfuls of greens (I usually choose spinach)
  • 1/2 a cup to a full cup of frozen fruit (I love a berry blend of blackberries, strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1/2 to a full frozen banana
  • milk, 100% fruit juice, or water as needed to get the right consistency
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter, yogurt or protein powder *optional to make this more filling

A glimpse of some of the ingredients for my smoothie

Finally, summer is a time for enjoying gardens. Gardening can be grounding, meditative, and a time to slow down outside. This might be sitting and watching the life that surrounds a buzzing garden, weeding or deadheading until you just can't anymore, or picking the fruits, flowers, or veggies of your labor. All of this could mean lots of bending over, sore hands, and tight hips. Try these exercises to give your body some release:

Child's pose

  • keep big toes together and allow knees to be as wide as feels comfortable
  • allow your arms and shoulders to feel comfortable with arms long or elbows bent with arms overhead or arms along side the body with palms up
  • let hips settle towards heels (use a rolled blanket behind your knees if your hips or knees are painful) and let your head rest on the ground or a block to completely decompress the spine
  • if your ankles are tight, roll your mat or a towel to place it under your ankles
  • breathe deep and slow
  • stay here for 1-10 minutes

Finger push ups

  • start in all 4's with wrists under shoulders
  • begin by lifting one wrist and thumb up, while pressing knuckles and fingers flat
  • you should feel a stretch on the palmar surface of your hand and fingers
  • alternate sides and do 8-10 on each side
  • move hands in if this is too much or walk hands out like a kneeling plank if this is easy

Figure 4 stretch

  • start laying on your back with knees bent and cross one ankle over the opposite thigh
  • stay here if this is enough or lift the foot that is planted to increase the stretch
  • ensure you feel this in your hip not your knee or ankle
  • hold for 20-60s then switch sides

So there you have it, to find balance this summer, get out on or in the water, make or enjoy some frozen treats (some healthy and maybe some not so healthy), and keep your body happy so you can continue your time in the garden! Summer is still here for another seven weeks so take advantage while you can!

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