Ah summer. It's more than just a season, it's an elusive feeling that I am relaxing and enjoying myself in this very fine sunshine. Or, maybe it turns into that frantic feeling that Summer is here NOW and I must start relaxing and enjoying myself before it's GONE!
Well, I must say I have no interest in visiting that feeling again. Summer is here and I. am. in. it. I have collected chamomile blossoms and mint to dry for autumn tea. I have picked peas, radishes, swiss chard. I have surveyed the buggy holes in my basil and counted green tomatoes. We swim. We find quiet art projects. We float the river. We visit the farm. We travel and share and enjoy.
Let's seize Summer. Let's hang the hammock and eat cereal with peaches for dinner.
It may be contrived, but it's true that each new season brings small pleasures and unexpected happiness. Spring always seems to be a bit of a miracle. As the days lengthen and the sun shines brighter, I tour our yard and note the buds and blossoms. Which plants have survived, which are thriving. I enthusiastically share these details with my family: there are two buds on the tiny apricot tree; we'll have plenty of mint again; the hops are coming up crazy; our rhubarb is booming; we have a daffodil!
And nothing says Spring quite as sucintly as a cardboard box full of chicks in the garage. With their fluffy bums and tiny cheeps and the promise of eggs, eggs, eggs! they remind me to clean out the coop, order the garden soil, and prepare for planting. Spring is here and the growing season is coming right around the bend.
I love this time of year.
This morning at the library I found the perfect book for right now: The Best Christmas Crafts Ever! I marked a number of projects that we could make right away with the supplies at hand. As soon as we got home, my oldest poured over each page before choosing our first project. It's a matchbox disguised to look like a snowy chimney; the Grinch slides down to steal Christmas from all the Who girls and boys when you pull on the green yarn. We completed two before moving on to decorating gift tags with similarly Grinch-ish-ly stickers.
Eventually, I left the studio to vacuum and put away laundry. By this point, he was drawing elaborate houses with many, many windows and carefully cutting them out. He completed at least twenty of all different shapes and sizes. I returned to the studio and found him absorbed in the task.
He said to me, "It's so refreshing to work in the studio, just making houses." We must be kindred spirits, because I agree: a whole lot of making calms me down as quick as can be.
Today was the first day of preschool for my oldest son. A new lunch bag - personalized and machine washable - was in order. I'm looking forward to a fresh routine, comforting soups, and a vacation for two. There is a decade to celebrate. Welcome September.
It's nearing bedtime and I still have a few chores to attend to before I head upstairs for the night. But I cannot let this day close without documenting it's wonderfulness. In my past life as a full-time employee in a big city with a long commute and a crowded apartment, I dreamed of days like today.
An easy morning planting my garden with my children. A trip downtown to paint pottery and eat ice cream for lunch. Cuddling. Play dough. Playing with - and putting away! - dad's handmade blocks. This afternoon we made the easiest, tastiest banana bread and ate BLTs for dinner. A chipmunk has taken up residence in our yard and we fed him peanuts. My oldest child tied a peanut to a piece of string and hung it in a tree. I'm unsure whether it's a trap or a treat for our woodland friend.
If a few similar days could follow today...well, I don't think my toes would touch the ground all weekend. Happy Tuesday, indeed.
The battery in our last film camera died seven years ago - while were enjoying a most memorable eco-vacation in Mexico. Since then it has knocked around in drawers, boxes and moving vans. Eventually I replaced the battery, finished the roll of film, and developed the images. (This took several months in order for me to get my act together. What's the rush after all these years?) I had no idea what surprises I would find.
And so, here I am in the autumn of 2003: cold, tired, and very young; returning from our SCUBA certification in the Channel Islands, I vowed never to dive in cold water again. A school of dolphins escorted us back to the marina and I remember being so thrilled at the sight.
And again, here I am in late winter, 2010. With two boys in the back yard enjoying an end-of-the-weekend fire outdoors. We toasted homemade marshmallows. My youngest had just discovered his pockets. It was rather chilly.
I am, essentially, the same woman. Now I have more experiences to guide me. And though I never would have supposed on that boat so long ago, miraculously, I have more love to give. Like peace, patience, and children, love grows when it's nurtured.