The Ripening of Summer
Sweet, crisp, and melancholy.
We’re coming upon my favorite time of year. A time of nostalgia, of endings, of reflection. The scents carried on the breezes are sweeter, sadder. Mornings and evenings grow crisp and cool.
It’s been a wet summer, hasn’t it? The grapevine and kudzu have run rampant, tendrils and vines, slinking and slithering across power lines and spreading like a moisture-maintaining blanket over the forests. I assume, due to the additional dampening fuel prices, I saw more hay left standing in fields this year.
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We didn’t have a garden this year, but I have heard that tomatoes disappointed and peppers flourished - as did anything of the vining variety.
I suffered more chigger bites this summer, but I don’t know if that’s due to an increased population, or the fact that I spent more time outdoors. Mattie, our beagle puppy, loves-loves-loves going for walks. She just had her first birthday, and I have a difficult time keeping up with her.
The whole summer has seemed a bit untamed, a little wilder and overgrown than the few summers we endured prior. Our first “post-pandemic” summer in a changed world. Inflation and under-staffing have spread like the grapevine, entwining themselves into our daily lives, cloaking the future and garnishing our dreams. During our quarantining and re-evaluating, we have let some of our former routines run amuck.
Two-Lane Renaissance was meant to be a light. My personal writing presented as a beacon to seek out an audience when I had lost all other writing outlets. It began simply as a writer’s attempt — not just to write again — but to be read as well. A need that exists deep within all writers I think.
But my light isn’t always bright shining. I don’t always have enough energy or the mindset to illuminate the darkness that creeps in beneath the overgrowth. I don’t hide my light under a bushel, but I’m not a lighthouse either. I get angry, frustrated, hurt, and tired. The life lessons I post are often as much for me as for any readers out there. I am working to be a better person, but there’s always room for improvement.
It helps, when I feel a little down and dim, for me to reflect back on the blessings of the year, the time spent with friends and family, the memories made, the stories told and written. I can look back and count accomplishments, milestones, and take this season to be grateful for the past that brought me to this present moment. It helps relieve me of worries about the future.
There’s a lyric in a lullaby by Pentatonix that gives the best advice:
Count your blessings every day. It makes the monsters go away. And everything will be okay. You are not alone…
I started this newsletter/eZine in December 2021, and here we are, eight months later. I have experienced so many blessings since then. I don’t have all the answers concerning the future, but I am working to appreciate the now. I am grateful for our subscribers, site visitors, and for our supporters, and the columnists who have joined me so far. Two-Lane Renaissance is growing, slowly and surely. Our renaissance is on its way.
Technically, we have six more weeks of summer even though the kids are back to school. Summer is ripening, and fleeting. Make sure you take time to just sit, reflect, and soak it in.
My essay about this time of year, “Quiet Cacophony,” was published recently by K’in Literary Journal. You can read it online here.
Have you checked Two-Lane Renaissance online lately? I promised not to overwhelm your email box, but I fear that might mean you’re missing some great content! Here are some of our most recent posts:
Emotional Intelligence - Why your EQ is more important than your IQ.
We all are sometimes swept away with emotion, overcome. Emotional intelligence is the key to performing well in work and play, maintaining physical health, and managing the challenges and obstacles we face rationally and with reason.
Unprofitable Servants - I can almost see Christ giving a giant eye roll, followed by an audible sigh. I can almost hear Him say, “Come on guys. Really?”
Remaining Whole in a Fractured World - Our human nature seeks balance and stability. When times are uncertain, it is even more important to find harmony within. Wholeness is the complete harmony of the mind, body, and spirit. This harmony is the biggest desire of all human beings.
The Dirtiest, Most Divine Sanctuary - The sanctuary in which I’ve experienced the most divine bliss is landscaped with mud, ticks, and decaying leaves.
Forgiveness - Christ teaches the Disciples, and us, about forgiveness, and what is expected regarding it. He flat tells us in verse one that “it is impossible but that offenses will come.” We are going to be offended. There are going to be things said, and done, that will cause emotional, and possibly physical, harm.
Stop Self-Sabotaging - Believe in the better you! Our culture is ready for a renaissance, a rebirth, a renewal of faith and hope, and it all starts within. Isn’t it time to give ourselves credit for what we have overcome? Survived? Accomplished?
You do not have to be a writer to benefit from personal journaling. If you are feeling a lack of focus, quiet dissatisfaction, or a lack of purpose, journaling can help. Here are several ways to journal your way to improved mental well-being and a brighter future.
The Magic of the Personal Journal - There are no rules in journaling. Your journal is for you, the pages are yours to do with as you wish. It is the practice of journaling that leads to our own methods of expression and connects us to our creativity.
Journaling for Self-Awareness & Understanding - It’s your life. Examine it.
Visual Journaling - Zero Writing Required.
Solving Life’s Challenges with your Journal - Keep your life moving forward.
Journaling for Personal Growth - Use your journal pages to steer your future.
Journaling for Creativity - Questions to jump-start your creative connection.
Journaling for Mental Health - Manage your emotions, fears, and frustrations.
And for our paying subscribers:
The Self-Concept Makeover Journaling eBook - The 25-page booklet leads the reader through a well-rounded life overhaul, with several exercises that can be worked as journal entries.
The 7-Day Journaling Workbook - This simple workbook will help you launch your journaling habit, and walk you through the first round of entries to begin enjoying the benefits journaling can have in your life.
We are very close to launching our first podcast! Podcasts are for paying subscribers only, so if you want to listen, you’ll need to upgrade your subscription.
Thank you for reading, and being a part of Two-Lane Renaissance. You can help our renaissance grow by telling others about us and sharing our emails, posts, and eZine.
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