Summer's Promise

Summer's Promise
An exploration of nostalgia's sweet heartache

 Mixed media accordion book, two-sided, 12 panels (total)
Folded: 5.5 W x 7 H
Unfolded: 5.5" H x 30" W 

Integrating collage and original text, Summer's Promise is an exploration of nostalgia for the past and the opportunity  - always available to us  - to affirm joy in the present.

The book began as a simple celebration of summer. But as I began down a path of nostalgia and memory, I found myself wondering why, when summer is purportedly a time for friends and family and fun, does its arrival make me restless and yearning for something undefined? And why do I experience such sadness when recalling happy days from my childhood summers, both real and imagined?


Wonderfully, the process of creating Summer’s Promise brought me clarity about these questions, giving me a new vision for summer as well as my life. I realized that, while my summertime memories and feelings may be bittersweet, they serve a higher purpose.

Urging my spirit out of its shell, they remind me of Summer’s Promise: “That life’s potential for joy is always here, always available. Any season, any age, any moment.” And that nostalgia, despite its accompanying heartache and longing, is simply a reminder to live fully in the present.

See full poem below.


by Lisa Zimmerman

Summer has arrived,

sparking memories from summers long past

and long forgotten.


I hold each in my heart

as tenderly as I hold bits of sea glass

collected at the water’s edge. 


As I feel their weight, appreciate their beauty,

I am filled with longing for those

boundless, sparkling, idyllic summers,

both real and imagined.


But I pine not just for summers that 

may or may not have been.


I long for the potential of summer, 

her unending possibilities,

her promise of a life worth living as gracious

and wide as the horizon.


Today, with the weather warming, 

I find myself yearning for an undefined freedom.


But just as nostalgia threatens a dark heartache,

those sea glass memories shimmer,

beckoning to my spirit, urging it out of its shell.

And I remember summer’s promise.


That life’s potential for joy

is always here, always available.

Any season. Any age. Any moment.