My Summer Joy

by Abra Pappa Add
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I spent last week with my family in Pennsylvania. It was a much, much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Each summer for the past 15 years I have been torn for my love of the city and my urge to be frolicking in a field, planting a garden, sitting on a back porch, and doing all things “summer.”

Things just feel wrong on a summer day in the city. When the rest of the country is sipping lemonade in a lounge chair my boyfriend, Jordan, and I are walking, on concrete, for hours. We will walk the entirety of central park, 50 blocks in Riverside Park. We will walk from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side. We take breaks, people watch at an outdoor cafe, pop into a store, grab a gelato. Most of all we walk. As much as I love walking and exploring the city I always feel like something is wrong. I come home at night exhausted and craving a back yard and a lounge chair.

So a week in the country is what I needed, it’s what my soul was longing for. This week gave me a bit of time to reflect on what brings me joy in the summer and what I so miss about living in the country. I thought I would share a few things on the list with you.

#1 Unexpected Wild Berries

Wild Berries

Wild Huckelberries

We moved into my family home in the 70′s as children my siblings and I explored every last nook of the neighborhood. What was the most unexpected amazing surprise last week was when my sister, Erika, told me she had discovered rows and rows of wild berry bushes.  We set out to explore. Sure enough, down a path we spent hundreds of summer days on as children were rows and rows of raspberry and huckleberry bushes.  They aren’t quite ripe yet, but when they are Erika promised she would make our Great Aunt Mamies Wild Huckelberry Pie and maybe a raspberry tart.

#2 Summer Adventures through the eyes of my wild nephew

Jonah Summer

Jonah, as Peter Pan exploring Neverland

This is my nephew Jonah, he is awesome. This kid has an imagination like you can’t even begin to fathom. Nothing takes me out of my “busy trap” like this little guy’s wild adventures. In a rare moment of inactivity I quietly stole his bag that he had been carrying around for days. He had a rolled up homemade map, rolled like an ancient scroll. To what? I have no idea, but oh to be five again!

#3 Wild Chamomile


Still growing after all these years

If there is one smell that reminds me of summer in the country it is chamomile. Chamomile has been growing wild on my families property since I can remember. As a child I would always pluck it from the ground and rub it between my fingers to release the smell. I love the smell. My mom would make chamomile tea and put it in our bottles as babies, or offer us a chilled glass after a long hard summer play session. Chamomile brings me peace and calm, before I knew the benefits of this plant I would inhale and allow it to work it’s magic.

My lesson this week was to allow some of these simple summer pleasures to exist in my everyday city life. I may not always be able to frolick in a berry filled field, but I can work to stay out of my busy trap and find simple joys in the bustling city.

What brings you joy in the summer?

Abra Pappa
About Abra Pappa, Health and Wellness Expert

Abra is a wellness expert that has inspired thousands of people to reach their health and weight loss goals through whole, natural food and mindful lifestyle shifts. Her food philosophy is simple; keep it real, keep it simple, and it sure as heck better be delicious!