We’ve just returned from a short vacation with friends, and it was just what this soul needed. The kids, all stair-stepped in age, continuously wore each other (and the parents!) out and the peals of laughter far outnumbered the whining and crying. Nothing like some sea salt, sunshine and a touch of chlorine as a balm for world-weariness, eh? These are moments now etched into my brain, gratefulness overflowing.
Being home has it’s comfort and joys, too. Old toys have taken on a new novelty. Even though we were only gone for a handful of days, the kids played full-steam with only minor parental navigations for most of the morning, engaging with their good ol’ favorites with renewed vigor. Likewise, I have found comfort in the nooks and crannies of my familiar space, and my sleep last night was deeper than I remember sleeping a long while.
The calendar and I had a head-on collision today, as I began sorting through the plans of the week, and the rest of the month. The middle of August? As in, almost September? I am amazed at the lightning energy that seems to have swept up our lazy Summer days. My mom has a saying that certainly rings true for me now: “the years fly by, it’s the days that drag on forever.” Cheryl Wheeler also writes in a favorite song of mine that “life is short, but the days and nights are long.” There have been moments this summer, in the oppressive heat and drenching humidity, where I have felt imprisoned in my house with these little ones (eerily similiar to the snowed-in feeling of winter) and I have wondered how we would survive the next hour, let alone the next day. Of course, we did, not always with beauty and grace, but always together. And now we are plodding forward towards school again, and I can’t seem to comprehend this time warp.
We spent our summer, are spending our summer, the way that I imagined we would. Very little scheduled, not much inked-in on the calendar, sometimes bored, sometimes inspired. All of our skin is a bit darker, our hair a bit lighter. This won’t stop just because the calendar tells us to turn her page. Autumn here is my favorite time of the year, and I can already tell that Summer is beginning to loosen her hold on the weather’s reins. School, though a requirement, is honestly just a few hours a few mornings a week, leaving us plenty of time to do what we do best. And let me not forget: we have saved the best for last. Our full-week family vacation begins on Labor Day weekend. We will not let Summer leave us that quickly; we will not let her go without a fight. While we watched our friends load up and head out to make their summer memories, I wished that our time had come, too. But now I am glad that we haven’t spent our ration yet. This little getaway this past weekend was just a taste of what we still have to look forward to.
For now, we will forage what is left of our fading summer harvest.