News editor, Melissa O’Brien takes The News with her on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Photo contributed by Melissa O’Brien

It’s funny how we always think that summer is going to be a nice, slow time of year and then the season is upon us and everyone is running in ten directions and even though the days are really long it feels like there’s never enough time to do everything. Through the long, cold winter we yearn for the reprieve of summer days and then it arrives and we’re running ourselves ragged doing so much.

In recent weeks I have stepped back from my usual routine to do some things I don’t usually take the time for: a trip to California to experience a hospice organization there; a week at Fordham, where I lived in the dorm, ate in the dining hall and sat in a classroom all day, every day; a brief trip to Martha’s Vineyard to officiate at the memorial service of a dear friend’s dad.

To be sure, all of these things are, in one way or another, related to the vocations of my life. But each one of them took me away from the usual march of my days for a time.

This is the gift of summer: the time to step away, to look at things from a different angle, to experience the world in a new way. The days are really long, the world is bursting with growth, with bounty. It’s deeply inspirational.

This issue of our newspaper brings a variety of new visions to you. Jim Dickerson offers for us a hopeful, thoughtful vision for the Spear’s property on Route 7. More than one enterprise in town is coming up with new, creative and collaborative ways to answer the questions of feeding the hungry in our communities. Here behind the scenes at the paper we are imagining new ways to build community and to fund this beloved enterprise. We have just moved through graduation season and launched a whole crop of young folks into their new endeavors and enterprises. Take a gander over to the Young Charlotters section and marvel at the creative vision of our young men and women who are out in the world doing truly magnificent things.

Enjoy the many hours of these long and languid days. Give yourself the gift of doing something out of the box of your own life. Travel well, wherever you may be going, if only into your own backyard for a quiet afternoon of gardening or reading. Take us with you when you go. As I always say to anyone I know who is venturing off somewhere: “Enjoy the journey, soak it all up, then bring back good stories.”

Happy summer, friends and neighbors.