Step back from the rat race for a little long-shadows time

There’s not much as satisfying at the end of a long week than relaxing on the back porch, cool drink in hand, just soaking in what my dad calls “long-shadows time.”

Everything’s all wacky this year. COVID-19 has caused all sorts of mayhem. The people who are working are working harder than ever, and the people who aren’t are working hard at finding a way to pay the bills. I hope life gets back to normal soon. But in the meantime, it’s important to take some time to recharge.

No matter what we’re doing during these crazy days, we all need to just sit still for a few minutes and relax. Better yet, go outside to do that relaxing. Sit on the back deck, or maybe cruise up to a campground in the forest. Park it on a stump in a meadow. And just watch the grass grow for a little while.

You probably won’t get to sit there for long. There’s just too much to do. If you’re at home, there are all the chores that still need to get done. If you’re up in the woods, you probably need to get supper on the fire or finish getting the tent set up. But the week is finally over, and it’s summertime. Take at least a half hour to just … be.

And there’s no better time to do that than the thirty minutes before the sun finally sinks behind the western horizon. It’s a time my dad calls “long-shadows time.” For as long as I can remember, he’s made a point of sitting on the porch for at least 15 minutes every summer night, watching those shadows grow longer with every passing minute.

It’s a great way to recharge after a long day. And it’s not just good for the person doing the long-shadows watching. My mom benefits, as well, even when she doesn’t come outside with him. Dad’s out on the deck leaving her alone, so she at least gets a few minutes to herself.

Do yourself a favor this evening. Instead of running full-speed until you crash on your bed at bedtime, take a short break and soak up some long-shadows time.

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