Summer Reflections

By Reverend Jessica Tinkham  •  June 06, 2024

As the anticipation for the warmth of summer's embrace builds, we find ourselves drawn irresistibly into the nostalgic embrace of cherished memories from seasons past. Summer, with its languid days and sultry nights, holds a unique place in our hearts, beckoning us to indulge in its bounty of possibility and adventure. As I observe my high schooler eagerly counting down the days to the upcoming summer vacation, I am transported back in time, revisiting my own treasured summer moments.

There's something inherently magical about summer, with its sun-drenched days and balmy evenings, that seems tailor-made for the sharing of stories. Perhaps it's the vibrant palette of colors that paint the landscape, casting a golden hue upon our reminiscences. Or maybe it's the carefree spirit of the season, where time appears to slow down, granting us the luxury to savor each fleeting moment with heightened awareness and gratitude.

A Beachy Memory

One memory in particular stands out among the many summers I've experienced – my first visit to the beach. Growing up, summer break meant staying with grandparents, crashing at friends' places, or going to Vacation Bible School. There wasn’t enough money for trips that crossed state lines. So at twenty years old, I was filled with a heady mixture of excitement and awe as I stepped onto the soft, powdery sand and felt the sun's warm caress upon my skin. Standing at the water's edge, I beheld the vast expanse of the ocean stretching out to meet the sky, its infinite depths stirring within me a profound sense of connection to something greater than myself.

As the day unfolded, I found myself swept away by the simple pleasures of beach life – building sandcastles with the fervor of a child, surrendering to the cool embrace of the ocean's waves as I waded into its depths, and marveling at the rhythmic dance of the tide as it ebbed and flowed, reshaping the shoreline with each passing moment. In the midst of it all, I felt a profound sense of vitality and abundance, as if the very essence of life itself pulsed within me with every breath.

Anticipating This Summer

Now, as my family eagerly anticipates another beach vacation this summer, I am filled with a deep sense of joy and anticipation at the prospect of sharing this sacred space of beauty and abundance with my children. Through their eyes, I am reminded once again of the awe-inspiring wonder that first captivated me all those years ago, and I am grateful for the opportunity to pass on the legacy of summer's magic to the next generation.

In reflecting on my love for summer, I realize that it is not merely the warmth of the sun or the allure of the beach that draws me in, but rather the profound sense of connection and belonging that it fosters within me. In those fleeting moments of summer bliss, I am reminded of the boundless potential for joy and wonder that exists within each of us, waiting to be awakened and embraced.

As summer approaches once again, I am reminded of the power of storytelling to evoke the magic of seasons past and to forge connections that transcend time and space. So let us embrace and share our summertime stories, weaving together the threads of nostalgia, joy, and gratitude that bind us to one another and to the beauty of life itself. For in the sharing of our stories, we discover the true richness of the season – not just in the warmth of the sun or the sparkle of the ocean, but in the timeless bonds of friendship, love, and shared experience that unite us all.


For Reflection (either individually or with a group)

Read the blog. Read it a second time, maybe reading it aloud or asking someone else to read it aloud so you can hear it with different intonation and emphases. Invite the Divine to open your heart to allow the light of new understanding to pierce the shadows of embedded assumptions, stereotypes, and ways of thinking so that you may live more abundantly. Then spend some time with the following questions together with anything or anyone who helps you reflect more deeply.

  • What is your favorite summertime memory/story?
  • What about that memory makes it so special?
  • Are you still connected with any of the people who were a part of that story? Why or why not?


Download a pdf including the Reflection Questions to share and discuss with friends, family, or members of your faith community small group.

About the Author

Reverend Jessica Tinkham

Reverend Jessica Tinkham (she/her/hers) is a chaplain for United Church Homes. She and her husband have three children who keep them very busy. Rev Jessica graduated with her BA in Religion in 2010 from Wright State University and her Master of Divinity in 2019 from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. She loves traveling to the beach and the mountains and would love to see the Grand Canyon in person. Rev Jessica is creative and especially loves crocheting and hopes to learn how to quilt.

View all articles by Reverend Jessica Tinkham