It's almost July! Before we get there, I want to savor the last few days of June.
I woke up this morning with a new word on my tongue, a jumbled word that spoke to me. "Re-June-ivation"
Re-June-ivation is a combination of rejuvenation and the first month of summer, June. Since June kicks off the summer season and summer is a great season for returning to rhythms that restore our souls (reading in the sunshine, sipping lemonade by the pool, picking and eating fresh berries, outdoor concerts in the park, backyard BBQ's), it seemed a good word mash to me. It made my husband, Mike, think of another word: renovation.
I know summer has officially arrived when the kids are out of school. These days that's when my college girl gets home. Other signs that summer has arrived are big pink wedges of watermelon, popsicles and the song of the ice cream man. The top of any summer list worth its sea salt is usually a trip to the beach.
When I was a girl growing up in Texas, I remember one trip to the Gulf Coast with Gram in her RV. (Gram is Pops' mother, Leona. You can read a bit about her in Dickie Daddy ) My little sister, Lori, and I found hermit crabs and spent hours creating little habitats for them in galvanized buckets with sand and shells and driftwood. We learned the hard way that you can't bring the little guys home to the city. Despite our valiant efforts, they did not survive and made Gram's patio stink to high heaven.
These days I still try to bring the beach home, but I stick to long-gone, bleached out treasures that make me smile without the stink. Here a few little spots I created around the house this summer to take me to the sea until I can get away.
These burlap wreaths were made by my friend Clare, for Kate's wedding. I took off the bows and added a weathered beach sign to one side. Clare is an old YaYa friend full of mischief. She has an eye for beauty and texture and makes magic in her adorable studio. Maybe I'll show you her space sometime. It is a great place to visit over iced tea and a good belly laugh.
You may know by now that I always smile when I bring my blue Mason jars to the windowsill by the kitchen sink. I did it early this year when I painted my kitchen. See Bringing in the Blue.
A few weeks ago, I finished my Re-June-ivation by lining the fireplace mantel below my Texas star with Mason jars I collected for Kate's wedding a few years ago. (obviously you can never have enough of these beauties) . . .
. . . and filling big wooden bowls with seashells . . .
adding a sailboat . . .
and a little wooden sailor with paddle arms . . .
Most of these treasures are found or thrifted and I re-use them all the time around my house, which is not by the sea. These vignettes are simple reminders of an ocean attitude: relaxing and calm, breathing deeply and taking time to listen in a seaside way.
Listening in a seaside way is unhurried, basking in the sunshine, eyes closed, waves lapping at my toes, sunny, sandy, salty. Listening in a seaside way can rejuvenate as well as renovate me, heart + soul.
That's Re-June-ivation. Try it with a single seashell or drifted wood in your windowsill. Try it with a conch shell to your ear. Try it with a classic book like "Gift from the Sea". Remember Books to the Sky? If you look closely at the sailboat photo, you'll see I found a replacement for my lost book at a thrift shop. I'm ready for my trip to the coast.
Happy Summer Y'all!