Thursday, October 16, 2008

Summer, Wait! I'm Not Finished With You Yet!

The summer of 2008 was the shortest, busiest, hardest summer of my life. But I'm so sad that it's over.

I would wish it back just to experience another five-mile run, my body drenched in sweat and sunshine; another swim in the pool, every inch of me surrounded by water and the boys' laughter; another afternoon to pick tomatoes from the garden and eat them by the handful; another week of admiring my caramel-colored skin; another match on the tennis courts when it's really too hot out to play; another dinner of grilled farmer's market veggies and tri-tip; another pitcher of margaritas when it's perfectly acceptable to have a refill; another trip to the garden center to choose a dozen shades of beautiful to plant in the dirt; another impromptu stop at the ice cream shop, where six dollars buys two big smiles that will be etched in my memory forever, even though the ice cream disappeared in minutes. The tastes, the smells, the sensations of summer make every cell in my body feel truly alive.

Last weekend the last hope of one more summer day was washed, dried, folded, and packed into a plastic storage bin. The Easy Set pool (the oxymoron of the year) is no longer an empty eyesore in the backyard, collecting bugs and leaves and bacteria. It is stowed indoors for use next summer, which will indeed come faster than any of us can believe, even thought sunshine-filled days off feel so far away today. Fifteen thousand gallons of water holds so much promise for me.

Do you ever have a conversation that wasn't meant to be profound, but you aren't able to ever forget it? It was like that two summers ago when both of my beautiful grandmothers came to visit. I love them so much. My dad's mom and my mom's mom were born in the same year, 1926, within three weeks of each other. We were talking about how fast that summer had passed, and how in the world did Mitchell grow into a toddler so quickly, and Max into a boy? My grandmas couldn't believe how fast their days go, from morning until evening, as they search for time and energy to do tasks like getting the mail, going to the store, checkups at the doctor, washing a load of laundry, heating up some dinner.

"Didn't you think life really sped up after we hit fifty?" one of them asked the other.

"Oh, yes," the other one answered. "That's when time really started going fast."

Fifty years old? That's when time really goes fast?! I trust my grandmas one hundred percent, and I award both of them honorary doctorates in life experience. Between the two of them, they have experienced every possible challenge in life as women, mothers, and wives.

Does that mean that the days that disappear now are actually moving slowly? How do I resolve that with my summer that said goodbye to me while I was still welcoming it to my life, inviting it to come in a stay for awhile? Just stay for coffee and sit a spell. Please.

So today I am not mourning the end of summer, like I did last weekend, but I am wondering how to create those moments that feel like summer in all of its glory. Two of the wisest women I know told me that no matter what the calendar says, no matter what the laws of physics say, no matter that we get an extra day every four years for leap year, that time is indeed going faster every day.

I want one moment of summer every day.

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