Tuesday, August 25, 2009
daily bliss: what i did this summer
A grey, drizzly night, humid yet chilly. Summer is slipping away. All day I've been melancholy. All day I've been off: burning my finger with a rookie baking error, overcooking my vegetables, snapping at my Mom.
I vowed several weeks ago to follow the rhythms of nature's calendar, marking the seasons with solstices and equinoxes, but now that I'm on the eve of my official return to work, to the academic year, it's hard to remember that summer is still here. For another month.
My heart is so full that I don't even know how to gather the words and share them with you. Or maybe I do and I'm still scared to write them here. "Just write for yourself. You have to. You can't worry about who might be reading," he says, and I know he's right. And yet...
I queue up a selection of summer songs, lyrics of home and moments echoing in this otherwise quiet pink room. I make a mug of vanilla black tea laced with milk and sugar, which I sip for courage and sweetness and comfort. I resist the urge to pick up the phone and instead I tap these keys, my burned fingertip aching with every "c" and "d."
I sift through blog entries written on the other edge of this summer, when I had a simple goal—to enjoy a Summer of Fun, a summer of being me and not thinking about work, allowing days to unfold as they would. And as they did.
I read my bittersweet melancholy at the close of a school year, with all the summer before me, wondering how to find the rhythms of relaxation. A smile lights up my face as I realize just how simple it was to find myself, to fill my days with words and laughter and companionship and walks. A tear traces down my cheek as I now try to remember my way back to that other rhythm of alarm clocks, bubbly encouragement, efficient productivity, firm compassion.
I find an early "to-do" list for the summer, including 14 items, the 14th one being the pivotal item around which everything shifted into a kind of happiness I had almost given up on: love.
And I know there will never be another summer quite like this one, a magical season in which time flew and lingered, in which days stretched into forever and whole weeks disappeared. Moments that seemed inexplicably predestined, somehow, strange and familiar all at once. Hours that melded into one another and any worry of accomplishing anything other than just being alive and happy and real disappeared like the fog over Lake Michigan on a hot summer afternoon.
All I want is to bring this zen-like ability to savor life as it's unfolding into the next season—fantastical fall— and those stretches of time in which I wrangle more with others' words than my own, weeks that demand an extroversion that I've tucked away in favor of quieter connections, months that challenge the soul with ever more greyness and chilliness.
And yet. I know, somehow, magically, elementally, that these seasons too will be full of heart, of discovery, of bliss. And so I settle in, ready to slip into heels and shoulder school bags, ready to walk into classrooms and meetings, ready for new writing ventures, ready for music and trips, and ready for long meandering conversations that never end.
I'm ready for the fall...