Being born and raised in Wisconsin, I have always held a special place in my heart for the changing of the seasons. Watching the rolling hills of green leaves turn into mother nature's final fanfare of the year by way of the autumn colors. Feeling the frozen crystals of water fall onto your face during the season's first... encounter (if you're from the south or don't have the pleasure of experiencing this cold curse, the "s-word" is prohibited for fear of facing mother nature's wrath). Both of these transitions begin to set the world up again for a time of new life. The once naked branches are covered in new blooms and the once silent woods are awake with singing birds and the babies of spring. As those beautiful buds and babies grow, we also enter the world of dads in grass stained New Balance shoes and conversations about smelling that "there's a storm brewin'".
I like to see summer in the Midwest as a treasure given to us as penance for the other 6 months of the year. In the mystical words of Olaf the Snowman, "I've always loved the idea of summer and sun and all things hot". The feelings that summer can bring to the forefront in people and snowmen of all ages are difficult to replicate in seasons where the wind hurts my face.
If we are being honest with each other, I have started to pen my thoughts on summer a dozen different times. In each of those times, there is another memory or tradition that begins to take me in a different direction. As it would seem, summer vibes can't be subject to one finite definition, instead, they are those moments that imprint on your soul. Growing up, summer vibes came from riding my bike without a helmet on (sorry, dad) and being outside until the street lights came on. Quickly evolving into honing my negotiation skills in high school for trying to stay out as long as possible, even if it was to sit at the park and do nothing but listen to the radio. Now that I have mini monsters of my own, my best vibes come from listening to them sing/scream their favorite songs from their playlist and trying to share that enthusiasm with everyone when the windows are down. My new vibes come from taking them on adventures and watching how they flourish as explorers and thrive on experiences.
Even though the moments themselves have changed over the course of my life, the feeling they've given me has remained constant; joy. Happiness in the memories I didn't realize I was making as a kid and the hope I have in being able to capture the same happiness for my babies. Summer vibes can't be explained as one specific moment or activity, nor should they be. Though the experiences of summer may change, it is the elicited feelings that live on forever.
Photographer Credit: Jordan Cigelske | J. Tay Photography | Instagram: @j.tayphotography