STOP!

I can hear your brain spinning from here.

You are worried about cutting the grass and/or getting to the grocery store and/or picking up the kids and/or [fill in the infinite blank].

Stop thinking. Just for a little while.

Focus on only one thing: In Northeast Ohio, this is the best time of the entire year.

Don’t miss it. Soak it in. Savor it.

Personally, I think Thanksgiving should be moved to June 21, the longest day of sun, because this is the time of year when I feel the most thankful.

During late spring and early summer, our region is as good a place to live as anywhere on the planet. What more do we need?

Just look around at those lush green expanses. Think about our lakes and rivers and streams. Our rolling hills. Our awesome collection of public parks, including the most underrated national park in America.

Feast your eyes on all of the varieties of trees. And the flowers, both wild and tame.

Outdoor dining. Outdoor music. Swimming. Boating. Biking. Golf courses galore. That big Smiley Face in the Sky pouring Vitamin D all over our bodies.

In a typical June, our high temps average 74 degrees early in the month and climb to 81 by the end of the month. The lows go from 56 to 63.

San Diego can’t do any better than that.

In Greater Akron, we have the best of Northeast Ohio: a lively city that’s small enough to suffer only a “rush half-hour” but is located only a half-hour or so from a city that’s big enough to offer three major sports teams, a world-class orchestra, a world-class art museum and plenty of other great attractions.

Even outsiders are fired up about Cleveland. A respected national publication, Forbes, sang the city’s praises so loudly last year that you’d think the magazine had been commandeered by the people who work for Destination Cleveland:

“This gritty, ‘underdog’ city is now home to six James Beard award-winning chef-inspired restaurants, a thriving bar, arts and music scene, and biomedical and ‘smart’ manufacturing start-ups that are quickly luring America’s youngest and brightest away from Boston, Austin, and Silicon Valley.

“All of which makes every Saturday night along East Fourth Street just north of Quicken Loans arena look more like SoHo or South Beach than the ‘Rust Belt’ strip one might conjure up in their mind when someone says ‘Cleveland.’?”

Cleveland equated with South Beach? With a straight face? That, for most of my lifetime, was inconceivable.

And right here in ACK-ron we have our own great restaurants, bars, art and music, as well as our version of a tourist destination: L.A. — as in Lower Akron. The Portage Lakes are a glistening joy in June.

Today is the reward for what nature does to us at the other end the year, when the grays come in all shades but the rest of the color spectrum is AWOL, when the trees are lifeless stick figures, scrawny and incomplete, when the only thing most of us do outdoors is shiver.

Think about all the good stuff when you’re sprawled out in the chaise lounge, the sun covering your face with tiny kisses.

Or better yet, don’t think about anything.

Easier said than done, I realize. Your favorite columnist struggles most of the time to live in the moment. But if ever there was a moment to live in, this is the moment.

Happy June!

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31