Savor Summer

I like to write about the seasons.  This is mostly because I think there is a special beauty to be found in each one. Whether you love sunny days or cloudy ones, warm weather or rain, taking the time to appreciate the unique charm of every part of the year can enhance your experience of the outdoors.

Summertime was my favorite time of year as long as I can remember.  I was a water lover – oceans, lakes, and swimming pools were my happy place.  I loved the long days, the lasting sunshine, and the carefree pace that came along with school vacation.

June, July, and August were always hot where I grew up.  And muggy.  The heat broke in the middle of the day, every day, when rain and thunderclouds swooped in for a mid-afternoon shower. The world around me was green and lush.  My summer memories are of brightly colored flowers and tall magnolia and oak trees, full of chirping cicadas.

In Israel, the summer season is a completely different sort of experience.

Here in the Holy Land, summer means months on end without the threat of rain.  It means beach and pool days are never spoiled by a midsummer storm.  There are no hurricanes here.  In Israel, the weather stays pretty much the same, day after sunny day. 

Summer in Israel brings golden grasses and grains.  The fields and hills become like a reflection of the yellow sun that dominates the sky.

The land may be crisp and dry, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not full of life.  July and August are the best times of year to gather fruit and wild herbs on the trail.  Sweet, purple figs hang from trees in the wild, along with grapes, blackberries, and almonds.  Sampling these fruits while we hike is one of my favorite parts of the season.

And the heat? No need to complain.  The best way to enjoy waterfalls is on a boiling hot day.  And who would venture to dip in a freshwater spring unless it was blistering hot outside?  Summer turns Israel’s many beautiful wet hiking trails into a blissfully refreshing break from the heat.  Life is always better in a waterfall.  And when you’re eating ice cream at the end of long hot trail.

I’m guessing that most people have a natural affinity for June, July, and August (school vacation) like I do. But even if you prefer fall leaves, snowball fights, or the sweet scent of spring flowers, you too can discover the unique beauty of summertime in Israel.  All you have to do is step outside and explore the season.

Step on into summertime.

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