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Dear Summer of 2017; I’m sorry, I forgive you and thanks.

Dear Summer of 2017,

With your official departure just over a week ago, I’m noticing how much I already miss you. I’ve started to review our connection over the last several months. You were special to me and although our relationship wasn’t very long, I know I learned a lot in our time together and there are many memories I will cherish.

I want to start by letting you know it’s ok that you had to go. You only had so much time and energy to share and I can’t be dependent on you year round. That’s just reality. Autumn sometimes puts on a mask of you, Summer, which gives me a glimmer of hope that you’ll return. But I’ve been through enough of these season cycles to know that’s just fall being fall. It’s not trying to intentionally trick me into thinking you’ll return. It’s my own thinking and creating unrealistic hopes and expectations that set me up for disappointment. And so I must let you go, Summer, hopes, unmet expectations and all.

As much as I experiences some special things during our relationship, Summer, there were a few things that happened that hurt my heart. I know that if I don’t express them, my heart will remain wounded. The best way I know how to let go is to communicate the hurt openly and honestly.

I want to express these hurts first so I can end this letter with all the wonderful things I experienced in your presence. Please know that the joys in our relationship far outweigh the sorrows. You aren’t perfect. I’m not perfect. And our relationship wasn’t perfect.

I’ll start with my apologies.

Summer, I didn’t fully receive the gifts you offered. You were a very good season for growing gardens and yet I didn’t tend my garden well at all. I’m sorry.

You offered so much sunshine and yet I spent many days inside at my computer to only realize at the end of the day I didn’t fully honour your presence. I’m sorry.

Summer, there were times you gave cloud and wind and rain. I wished for different than you offered. I’m sorry I didn’t always accept and appreciate you for just being you.

There are some things I need to forgive you for Summer of 2017. Deep down, I know you’re not directly responsible for the hurts that my heart experienced but they happened in your presence and the environment you created. And so, I believe, that unless I communicate these hurts, I will forever hold you responsible. By expressing that I was hurt during our relationship, I’m letting go of blaming you. I’m forgiving you.

There were many special gatherings with family and friends while you were around, Summer of 2017. Unfortunately, there were a couple that hurt my heart.

I hosted a reunion with some women who adventured together three years ago. During our time together, there was much joy and sharing. Unfortunately, this joy was overshadowed by hurt when I was not included in the other activities these women did together. I have carried this hurt too long and now as I say goodbye to you, Summer, I also say goodbye to the pain of being left out. I do this by telling the truth and acknowledging my pain instead of denying it.

Another gathering was planned, this time with family. Summer, you were such a big part of the invitation. With your warmth and beauty, my expectations were high that as many as 19 of my family members would come together at the Pinawa Playhouse. As the date approached, fewer and fewer people were able to come and in the end, only five of us actually got together. This made me sad more than hurt so now it’s time for me to say goodbye to the unmet expectations.

Now to the things I most appreciated about our time together, Summer of 2017.

The kick-off to our relationship was a trip to Waterton National Park. You certainly created a beautiful tapestry of colours with all the wild flowers. It was amazing and thank you for sharing. I’m very sad about the recent fire that destroyed much of the park and it makes my time there seem even more special knowing it will take years to recover.

Summer, you made outdoor activities so fun and truly enjoyable. Not too hot. Not too windy. Not too rainy. Not too buggy. So many times I said to myself you were “just right” weather wise. Now I say it to you, too. In your presence, I has many wonderful paddles in my kayak. Lots of adventurous bike rides. And the most joyful walks with my dogs. I thank you. Chobe and Clover thank you.

Summer, you also hosted some amazing events that I really enjoyed. The Winnipeg Folk Festival. The Symatree Farm Wellness Day. Cirque du Soleil under the big top. A family reunion to celebrate 120 years in Canada. Canada Day fireworks at The Forks. Fireworks in Pinawa on my birthday (the ones that erupt off the water were incredible). The Fire and Water Music Festival. The Dam Pedal and Paddle. The August meteor shower. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Summer, as much as you supportted me to play, you also motivated me to work at things I simply wouldn’t do in the other seasons. Painting. Clearing brush. Fixing outdoor structures. The highlight of my work was offering the first ever Camp KidAgain Retreat.

My heart feels at peace now, Summer of 2017, having reviewed our relationship and sharing it in a way that it can be witnessed. As with any relationship there were both highlights and challenges. By acknowledging the challenges and the connected emotions, I feel free to let you go while holding onto the best memories.

You will forever be a part of me, Summer of 2017.  Goodbye.

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Comments (8)

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    Lisa

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    Thank you for sharing this – it reminds me that grief is much more than death and acknowledging these feels out loud and on paper can allow us to move forward.

    Reply

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      Patti Philips

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      You’re welcome Lisa. It seems a bit counter intuitive, hey? That be acknowledging and accepting out uncomfortable feelings it actually allows us to set them free.

      It’s an important lesson for our current culture.

      Reply

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    Guylaine

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    Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing Patti. Wow, makes me feel like I’m not alone in this human condition of mine!!!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Patti Philips

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      You’re welcome Guylaine. I wish for everyone to not feel alone in this human condition. Unfortunately, we often choose to struggle alone and miss out on another need of this human condition; true connection.

      Thank you for sharing your word and accepting your humanness.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Patricia Baker

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    Patti, you are a blessing

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Patti Philips

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      Thanks Patricia. This one came from my heart and it really felt like it needed to be shared.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Louise

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    Thanks Patti, you mirrored a lot of my own feelings about the wonderful highlights of summer 2017 – sharing the glorious days with family and friends enjoying our relationships all the summer day had to offer!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Audrey smith

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    This is so so helpful based on the highs and lows I went through this summer with on going internal and external family issues

    Reply

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