The summers in Fargo make the winters here almost worth it. The temperatures are warm and cozy – like a comfortable hug from a lifelong friend. The sun, the breeze, and the shade mostly work together to form an ambiance of pure pleasantry. The inside of my home is somewhat neglected, as I relish to spend every available moment outside. My camp chair has conformed itself to the curves of my duff, and we sit together to enjoy the day’s beauty and contentment.

The breeze is my favorite summertime friend. It blows just enough to keep the flying critters away (read: man-eating dragonflies and other terrorizing winged insects), and just enough to keep the heat in check. If I had the leisure to sit outside in the summer all day every day, it would be an opportunity I would certainly take advantage of. Watching a rainstorm from the shelter of the garage would be no hindrance.

Haley, now a very active toddler, loves to play outside with sticks, rocks, and most affectionately with the dirt. She and I marvel at the birds, dance away from bugs, and together sit and wonder about the clouds as they pass overhead. “Blue and white, mommy! The sky blue and white!” I think the clouds are just as happy to be floating above us as we are to watch them. My little nature loving toddler is a girl after my own heart.

There are no mountains, and there are no pristine blue bodies of water nearby, but the atmosphere of the outdoors is appreciated regardless. Freedom to run, jump, roll, or simply sit. I’ll take it. No boundaries at all – just acres and acres of outdoors.

As the leaves rustle and applaud for how happy they are to have our company, I sometimes just close my eyes and say quick little prayers of thanks. Thanks for His creation, and taking time to plan out the smallest of details. Thanks for all the senses to be able to enjoy it. And thanks for the opportunity to experience it, even if only for a season.

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