The Habit of Summer

Summer 2013

Habits lie beneath the surface. Paint is on the surface of a canvas.

Is a painting of Harbor Springs just a visual representation of the scene? Much more lies beneath the surface. Summer has an essence, a synchronicity, a balance that comes from thoughts, desires, actions and eventually habits that give summer her character and soul. Add a history and familiarity with Harbor Springs and "The Habit of Summer" blends with our own habits, bringing us closer to something very special. We feel a swelling. Gratitude.

This awareness is something we should consider in all seasons. "It is a work of art if it is always present". Being present doesn't have to do with a period of time. So this summer can't just be a period of time. Summer is just like a work of art. Let it be present. Always.

If we know our habits we have a chance at knowing ourselves. Being aware and then acting on our choices leads to habits. Choices that can allow us to feel like summer all year long if we can feel it now. Summer isn't one thing. It's not the opposite of winter. It's a chance to see glimpses often. These can't be captured by a painter or a writer except to be suggested for a moment. True art has the unique ability to teach there is more.

Summer in Harbor Springs can do this. It is a deep well. Always flowing.

One caveat: Through discipline and routine, the truth is often revealed. That is how summer works. It's the sentimentality of the past and the hope for many more summers we hold so dear but most importantly it is the present. Right here as you read this. In the end painting is a place. Harbor Springs has a strong sense of place.

When that sense of place gets determined externally instead of revealed internally we have a great risk of losing what naturally evolved. The soul of the town. The place. Ideally we have lots of people with their own stories doing what they ought to do, doing it well, helping others, and aren't concerned with the fruits of their labor. These people have a nature that makes the town very rich. It comes out of the town. It isn't something we tell to the world "come and see it". Then it wouldn't be. We can be still.

It's a place,yet it's different for everyone because of our individual desires. Everything the town needs it already has and knows in its soul. Let's not judge the surface only. It's okay that it is different for everyone. There once was a man named Jonah that thought he knew what was best for a town and had to learn a hard lesson. That didn't work out very well for him and it is an example of going against natural law. Let's let Harbor Springs be always present and see beyond the surface of things.