Oh, Let us Tell You About the Joy AND Grief of Summer!

by | Jun 27, 2021 | 20s, Aging, Holidays and Seasons Collections, Highly Sensitive Person, Holidays/Holy Days/Seasons | 2 comments

Episode 5 of the Gathering Gold podcast is now available and, like peaches and watermelon, it’s a juicy one!

In this episode, we’re talking about summer, the season of “nothing lasts forever.” We talk about the gifts and opportunities that lie waiting in this season, which is both teeming with abundance and hinting at the colder, darker months to come. We discuss nostalgia  and grief around childhood summers (longing for what was and what wasn’t), the adolescent nature of summer in all its blooming, creative and wild glory, and how to attend to expectations and overwhelm that often accompany this season for highly sensitive people.

As always, this episode is both personal and collective as Victoria and I share stories, childhood memories, poetry, and insights about the archetypal layers of this season that highly sensitive people often feel but have a harder time naming. When we can name these layers, we feel less alone, shame is reduced, and we can more easily harness the gifts and gold that the season offers.

You can find the episode here, as well as on Apple and Spotify. And, as always, we welcome your comments, reviews, and shares.


  1. I so enjoy the podcasts you have done with Victoria! As a highly sensitive person and an empath, I find that your conversations give words to many emotions I feel so strongly but cant articulate. Thank you to you both for sharing your insights and emotions.

  2. I really connected to the part when you talked about the illusion of thinking “I had the best childhood.” I can’t remember exactly how you phrased it, but it really spoke to me. When I first found your work and the post talking about how anxiety runs wild because our parents didn’t teach us how to sit with our big feelings, I thought “well, that wasn’t me. We talked about feelings all the time.” What I hadn’t realized was how, while that was true on the one hand, on the other hand, certain feelings were not encouraged, especially after a certain time frame. I also NEVER saw sitting with big feelings modeled. Those big feelings nearly always came out through anger.

    I also really connected to the part when you talked about your family… I forget how you phrased it, but crackling apart before it shattered just before you went off to college. I had almost the same exact experience. I first noticed things like the siblings I grew up with (mostly my uncles, who were siblings) drifting apart from me when I was 15. When I was 17, my grandma had a relatively mild stroke (like it didn’t incapacitate her), and our family systems started to shift then. Around this time also, my great-grandma was declining in health, and thus my great-aunt who lives with her stopped really initiating contact with us, and so that started to melt away (that’s a whole other can of worms). But it was right before I turned 22 that a huge piece broke off when my uncle’s mental illness came to a head, and he left. Now at the end of 2020, my grandma had more strokes which have left her bedridden, and our family system has now completely shattered.

    I definitely feel the part about grief in summer, especially the last two years. Summer in Alaska is just wonderful, at our house even if we don’t go anywhere. We live kind of in the woods with mountains on either side of our house, and the temperature is nearly perfect. It almost always rains exactly on my birthday, but I don’t even mind that. It also put me in mind how, since my family systems have been changing, there’s a lot about Summer in Alaska that has changed and that I miss. We used to drive down and spend a week or so in Homer every year, and the last time we went was in 2011. Two of my grown-ups at least used to go fishing at the Kasilof (which I think I spelled wrong) and bring back two coolers full of fish, that we would then spend the next week or two cleaning, cutting, vacuum sealing, and labeling. Those were some of the best times of my life. It was a family tradition. I can’t actually remember the last year that we did that. Now we just go to the store for our salmon, which I’m grateful for, but I miss the way we used to do it. I think the last time any of us went fishing at all was when my aunt took me and my brother to fish in Seward. But it wasn’t at the height of the salmon season and we only caught three pinks (which are not very good eating).

    I feel like this is kind of a ramble, but let’s just say, I really connected to this episode. So far I’m connecting to all of them, actually. All the stuff you talk about makes my life make so much more sense to me, and I didn’t even realize it wasn’t making sense before. So thank you.


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