Today has been a day of reflection. First of all it was a Monday....and Monday's seldom please me. As Monday's go though....it could have been much worse. All worked out (or at least I have hopes it will work out) for the best.
As I was hanging clothes out on the line after begging, pleading and losing my temper with several people on the phone....in the hopes of accomplishing my ability to finish up my Associates degree in the fall, it was as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I could feel the warmth of the sun hitting on me as I carefully and lovingly hung my clothes out to dry. Trust me though...it is the ritual of the hanging that causes the love and care...the clothes are just a vessel. At any rate I found myself thinking of and planning this blog and also thinking about the summer of 2012 which will be quickly coming to an end if not calendar wise, then school wise..... next week.
I couldn't help but think of all the summers that have started and ended in what seemed like the blink of an eye, with little to show for them except maybe some color to the skin and a growth spurt. As a kid the anticipation of summer was almost too much to bear only to have it swiftly gone in the midst of too many mornings allowed to sleep too late after too many nights of staying up too late. First it was playing outside until well after the street lights came on, then it was Dragging Douglas and river parties, then it was the lake and hanging out anywhere but our small town. When my own kids came along the summers went from going by quickly to having a warp speed that even Captain Kirk would be proud of......and again...little to show for the experience. Some summers have been filled with just plain day to day family life, some with grief and some with seizures and hospital visits. I can honestly say that more summers in my life have come and gone in the haze of break neck speed than I care to or even can remember. This summer though....it has been different.
My mother in law told me once that the earlier the locust start buzzing, the earlier the fall. I have watched and she seems to know what she is talking about. If that is truly the case then we should be going headlong into fall quite early this year as the locust hum has been a fixture around here since early June. Another sign are the leaves. With the 100+ degree days occurring almost daily and no visible precipitation the grass has become like straw and the leaves have dried, turned brown and are already carpeting the ground. Yep...fall appears to be just a cool breeze away.
While fall is typically my favorite time of year with the beauty of the seasons changing and the brisk, rejuvenating air along with the hustle and bustle of the new school year...this year, I am not quite ready to see summer leave. Although we went into summer fresh from David's surgery and not knowing what to expect from his recovery or how our life was going to be.....things just seemed to work in a way that brought my family closer together. Maybe it was the realization of how blessed we were for David to even be able to have the surgery and then the even greater blessing of him surviving it. Whatever the case...it put a different feel into this summer. And it wasn't just me....Z seemed to feel it too. While he did hang with friends quite a bit, I also saw him draw closer to family. He was the first one to suggest ideas in the yard and we planned our days instead of flying by the seat of our pants.......so that nothing would be missed. For me there was realization that in just a couple of years I would be preparing Z for college and his attention would be anywhere but home. Perhaps he felt that too and again....also knowing what wonderful things that were now possible in Davids life gave our family a light that had not flickered in a while.
We also had the blessing of my oldest coming back into our lives with real change in tow. He too had some life epiphanies that were starting to mold and change him and having the young man I used to know reappearing in our lives especially this summer made for joy I hadn't felt in years. As a family we were able to barbecue, swim and actually reacquaint ourselves with each other. It was truly many prayers answered and some answered that I wasn't even aware that I had asked for.
So this evening....I sat out on the porch and just listened. It was all the sounds of a small town in summer. The locust busily hummed to one another as the lightening bugs began to move and flash their tails around the yard. Couples passed by on their evening walks and down the street kids could be heard laughing as they ran and played under the street lights. There were smells from close by of barbecues preparing dinner and music coming from an open window. It was a summer evening at its finest and I was privileged to be there for the show.
Sitting there....I realized that I think I slowed summer down just a bit this year....or maybe I just paid closer attention. I made as many minutes as I could count and I spent a great deal of time counting my blessings. Most years as summer ends I am more than happy to say good bye to yard work, send the kids back to school and be rid of the constant heat, but not this year. This year I will miss the days in the yard working with Z and talking about the future. His hopes, his dreams and what lies ahead for us all. I will miss quiet moments hanging clothes on the line or sitting on the porch in the evening listening to all that summer has to offer. I will miss afternoons in the pool and pushing the mower around our endless back yard. I will miss bbq's and outdoor games and I will even miss the heat. I believe next week there might even be tears as I send my boys off to another year of school and watch each leave the house a little taller and each a little closer to the time when their school years will be behind them.
Yes....it was a good summer!