June is one of my favorite months of the year. The days are long, the flowers are in full bloom, family and friends are getting together for barbecues and cookouts, it’s Pride Month (which should be every month)...it just seems like everyone is out and about celebrating life and love.
And while 2017 has been a bit of a whirlwind so far, this year’s events have also spurred a resurgence of fighting for love and equality - regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
My husband and I went back up to Hudson, New York this past weekend (where we got married about a year ago). We felt excited and eager to return to the town where we experienced so many overwhelming feelings of love with family and friends last year. I knew we were missing the pride parade in New York City again, but it was heartwarming to see so many pride flags up and down Warren Street (the main street) in Hudson.
We sat outside in a beautiful garden for a tasting at The Crimson Sparrow the night before our actual anniversary. Halfway through the dinner, it started to rain. Some of the couples and families decided to move inside, but we stayed outside for a little while. Once the rain picked up, we grabbed our plates and joined another couple under an awning to watch the chef cook the remaining dishes through a large glass window. It was one of those moments where the experience was worth getting completely drenched. I feel like in any other situation, I would have been annoyed that I was getting soaked, but in this case, there were smiles everywhere you looked - from the couple sitting next to us to the chef and servers (who continued to serve us outside despite the rain, even though we asked if we should go inside ;-). Love was certainly in the air that night.
The quiet country air, the small town familiar vibe, seeing so many couples, families, and friends celebrating love and equality - it all just hit me at once, and I felt relaxed, moved, and content.
It’s much easier to appreciate love with family, friends, and/or partners when you actually take that moment to stop and smell the roses. In my case, it was physically removing myself for a minute from the hustle and bustle of New York City to the quiet Hudson Valley that helped me to calm my mind. For others, it may be introducing a daily meditation practice, taking walks along the river or in the park, going for a bike ride, and/or gratitude journaling.
Once you get quiet, clear, and calm, you’re truly able to acknowledge and be grateful for the love around you.
And then what usually happens is others pick up on the positive energy you exude. Love is infectious.
Of course, we still have a long way to go, but imagine how life would be if we all just lived and let live?
The world would be a much happier place...every month would feel like June.
(Please note that the rainbow in the photo below from Kaaterskill Falls this past weekend happened to magically appear...not the work of Photoshop ;-).