By William H. Grignon
Winter is a slushy memory. Spring unsheathes in a moist green sigh. Summer beckons with a sultry smile. It’s time to shed those clumsy layers, step out from your stuffy hibernation, and dance in the sunshine!
Why not treat yourself to a feast of sensuous experiences this summer? So what if you might not be able to stand in awe of a technicolor sunset or observe the human parade from a sidewalk café. Vision loss shouldn’t stop us from enjoying all that summer has to offer.
Get out in the sun, feel the warm breezes on your skin, luxuriate in a long afternoon languor. Study after study show that exposure to sunlight improves your mood, feeds your skin with Vitamin D, and enhances your sense of well-being. Besides, it just feels so glorious! Just remember the UV shades and the SPF!
Go jump in the lake! Or the river, the pond, a pool, or maybe a cool bath. Water is the ultimate rejuvenator and combining it with sunlight, fun, and the play of buoyancy, ebb, and flow gives you a chance to feel lighter, freer, more alive. And while you are playing in all that H2O, don’t forget to get a goodly amount inside to wake up your cells and keep you hydrated.
While you are treating your skin, give your nose a treat. Plant some aromatic herbs and flowers. Not into the whole gardening thing? Try some new bath and body oils, maybe a new sunscreen or hair mask. Light a scented candle. Maybe you will find a new you in a new smell.
Sick of listening to the same song lists? Explore new music on Pandora, Spotify, Tune-In, or any of a number of free apps. Find stuff that makes you feel good and maybe even stuff that makes you dance. Remember, dancing can be one of the best ways to get that cardio workout. You can dance by yourself or, for a real blast, get out there and dance in public, not caring what anyone thinks of your bodacious moves. The key is to move — and have fun!
Speaking of moving, why not try something just for the thrill of it. People with vision loss do bungee-jumping, skydiving, parasailing, zip-lining, water-skiing, white-water-rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and even ax-throwing! Admittedly, some of these are a little spendy and you might have to call on your advocacy skills to get the operators to take you on, but you will store up memories for a lifetime and be a hit at social gatherings.
Weary of Siri, JAWS, and all those electronic voices? Turn off the devices and tune in to the world around you. Listen to the myriad birdsongs. Feel the insects thrum and chirp. Revel in the majesty of a thunderstorm and the hypnotic rhythms of rain falling through leaves. Fall asleep to the many voices of the wind. Slow down, open up, and feel a part of the big beautiful world.
Finally, try some new summer recipes. The Internet is chock full of food, drink, dessert, and other delectable ideas. Think fresh new combinations. Summer is a time for fruit and fresh vegetables. Maybe try a fast for a day. Maybe try juicing for a week. Foody experts say that your summer food should be as light as your summer clothing.
And while you are treating yourself, treat others. Go to new places, meet new people, try new things, take your smile out of your pocket and share it with others. Try to be as bright, warm, and vital as the summer day around you!