Summers in Winnipeg are sacred. The city’s collective population crawls out of its winter enclave, marked by pallid skin and semi-permanent toque-hair. We poke our heads out hopefully, emerging into the great outdoors once again with high hopes of lakes and hikes and the simple pleasure of being able to go outside without having to wear a parka.
If your summer hobbies usually include drinking the same beer on the same patio with the same people at the same place every weekend, or thinly hoping your ex wants to get back together so you can exploit – er, use – their family cottage for another year, then it’s about time you abandon your usual summer doldrums to leap exuberantly into #summer2k16.
As much fun as the four-straight months of responsibility-free leisure was when we were kids, for most of us, it’s just not feasible. We have spring courses to take. We have jobs to work. We have a slew of other adulthood-related impediments to summer adventure. But even so, the gaps of summer that aren’t filled by your annual canoe trip beg to be filled valuably.
How, then, can one make hay while the sun shines? How can you even make hay if you’re going to be stuck in the city the whole time?
Step 1: go outside. Seriously. Find any excuse you can. Ride your bike to work. Walk to the grocery store. Walk your dog. Walk your friend’s dog. Walk for the fun of it. Read a book in the park. Drink your coffee on a bench. The sun is a fleeting mistress and she only loves us for so long. Bask in her glory before she disappears again.
Step 2: make your friends play sports with you. If organized sports aren’t your bag, or you can’t be bothered to revive your old slow-pitch team with the borderline-offensive sexual innuendo of a team name because nobody ever gave you your $30, then that’s OK. Grab a Frisbee or a football or your ball glove and head out to the soft grass. If your friends do not heed to your many invitations, then fly a damn kite. Kite-flying is probably a sport.
Step 3: check out any number of the super rad summer festivals, bike jams, farmer’s markets, art shows, or live music that graces our great city. Winnipeg is a cultural hotspot and its many musings are beckoning to restless summer-goers like you. The city is aching to provide merriment for you.
Step 4: repeat step one. Seriously, good weather comes at a premium and you’re going to regret sleeping in until noon on days you could’ve been taking in Manitoba’s summer offerings. You can doze and watch Netflix and commiserate during the hibernation months.
Our four months of summer freedom are hampered by responsibilities – but for the short slivers of sunshine, you must make hay.
Published in Volume 70, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 2, 2016)