The Inside Outside Retreat Centre logo, a trail marker blaze within a circle.
Logotype for the Inside Outside Retreat Centre.

Savouring Summer

Isn’t one of the things we love about summer the chance to slow down, take it easy, and read something just for the pure enjoyment of reading?

You know, do nothing?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell you how many times I sabotage any possibility of slowing down by filling my holiday calendar with activities and obligations –– all lovely and wonderful of course –– and before you know it, I feel busier than ever.

Doing nothing isn’t in the cards.

I need a holiday from the holiday.

Maybe it happens because all year long we’ve been promising ourselves we’ll do that thing that we’ve been meaning to do in the summer.

We’ll get together with that friend we haven’t seen in so long in the summer.

We’ll take that course,

write that novel,

paint the house

in the summer.

An exaggeration perhaps, but I understand this remark from Herman Hesse:

Our ways of enjoying ourselves are hardly less irritating and nerve-racking than the pressure of our work.

Well, maybe that’s just the way it is.

Summers here in Canada are short. Of course, we want to squeeze all the joy we can out of the warm days of summer.

But maybe we could slow down, just a little bit.

Hesse also has a little advice for us:

Moderate enjoyment is double enjoyment. Do not overlook the little joys!

These little joys, Hesse tells us, may be inconspicuous, but they are scattered throughout our daily lives.

They may be as small as a cup of tea,

gazing at the sky,

watching a squirrel,

sending a sweet message to that friend you haven’t seen,

or simply pausing for an extra five minutes before moving on to the next obligation.

The joy is in the noticing.

It seems simple enough, but it’s not easy.

can tell you I had a moment last week, where I put down my book and sat and did nothing but notice where I was, how the air felt, and what sounds were around me.

It was wonderful.

Now to do it again.

We wish you moments of insight and peace this summer.

Be well,


Contact Us

We are settlers on Treaty 13 Land, the traditional territories of many Indigenous Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are committed to honouring the history this land bears witness to, responding to the 94 Calls to Action of the  Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and walking lightly on the Earth. A portion of proceeds from all our offerings are sent to:  The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and The Nii’kinaaganaa Foundation.

The Inside Outside Retreat Centre, Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), 720 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON, M5S2R4