La Vie En Rose is a magical song written by Edith Piaf in the 1940s (and immortalized in A Star is Born) that brings thoughts of roses blooming and angels singing. La Vie En Rose literally means life in pink, but more often we translate it as “looking at life through rose-colored glasses.” It’s a warm, optimistic, rosy outlook, the kind of feeling we get as summer approaches. La Vie En Rose.
Summer is my time, my La Vie En Rose. And summer is the season of the Yogi, starting with summer solstice in June. Summer solstice represents awakening, when we come out of winter and soak up sunlight. It is a time to create our own personal magic, to put on our rose-colored glasses and set an intention to refill ourselves with the life-giving energy of light that surrounds us and is within us. Many yogis practice 108 Sun Salutations during the second half of the year, a kind of “rosary” of 12 powerful poses meant to enhance energy and detoxify body and mind.
And let’s be honest … everything is so much rosier in summer! The air is warm and perfumed with flowers, the evenings are long and lazy, and even food is more appealing. After winter months of canned and frozen veggies, there is nothing like an arugula salad made from a local market’s first tender shoots or a meal of grilled asparagus fresh from a farmstand. (Wouldn’t it make more sense to move “diet” New Year’s Resolutions to summer solstice when it’s so much easier to eat healthy and clean, more mindfully and in season, as prescribed by the ancient Ayurvedic yogis?!!!) Cold weather foods like rich squash soup or spicy ratatouille may be meant to warm our souls, but warm weather foods like sweet ears of corn, luscious black cherries and vibrant tomatoes are meant to restore them!
Yoga invites us to slow down and be in the moment, and so does summer. We make more time for friends and road trips, and of course, a grand and glorious picnic on July 4th with fireworks and hot dogs and watermelon! Easy is a word often associated with summer, but it is the kind of easy that refreshes us. An afternoon nap in a backyard hammock, a cozy reading “nest” in a front porch swing, a campfire circled with friends … they all evoke a slower, more mindful pace, steeped in nature and in communion with self and others. It is the kind of easy that invites us to open ourselves to the Divine.
I know it’s a shock to hear this, lovelies, but you won’t find the Divine on Facebook or Hulu or NBC. The conduit to God is in the trees, the trails, the sky, the sun, even the rain. Doug and I spend much of our time in La Vie en Rose at our summer “camp” near Lake Erie and a state park with miles and miles of wooded trails.
The Divine is so palpable there. He fills my senses with the smell of mossy bark, the crunch of last autumn’s leaves underfoot, the sunlit shimmer of a spider web. Without my umbilical cord to the techno-world, I practice a mindful walking meditation, Shambala, which emphasizes living a life of fearlessness and gentleness through meditation. Of being in and of God. Mostly it’s quiet, and after a mile or so, I stop under a leafy canopy filtering amber light and let the sunstream touch me. I let myself be held there in the vastness of the Divine, just for a moment, alone but for the cardinals cheeping. It is a moment of restfulness, of gratitude, of completeness. And as I walk on, each thoughtful breath I take and each mindful step I make brings me closer to my true home with my God.
This summer, may you live La Vie En Rose. May you give your heart and soul over to the Season. May you see the beauty and wonder of this world we live in through splendid rose colored glasses, with joy, happiness and total gratitude. Summer is calling, my friends and we must all go!