Usually I rush off from the last hot days of summer and try to hurry fall’s arrival. I’m learning though that any time we rush ahead, we lose. We lose time. We rush through the good as well as the bad, and we miss the beauty of this moment with all its nuance, both the dark and the light. So this summer’s end I’ve been forcing myself to slow and to savor these last summer days of 2019. These days when Phoebe is 8 years old, straddling the fence of childhood and “big girl-ness,” when Noah is 6 and loves to fly through the yard on his bike, Philippa is 4 and trots along behind big brother into whatever he’s doing, and Wren is a feisty 18 months, toddling to keep up with everyone and fiery mad when she can’t. I know next summer will have its own flavor and I don’t want to miss these days that will never come just exactly like this again.
It has been a good summer, one in which we traveled near and far, enjoyed our own mountains and the west coast mountains of California. It was a summer of learning how to swim and intentionally trying to make progress in that area for each of the children. It was a summer of garden triumphs and failures. The ground is giving us the last bits of harvest, the zinnias are firing off their final blooms, the mighty sunflowers bow their heads to the gentle fade of daylight. Wren wears her fairy dust cardigan for the first time on the chilliest morning. Philippa stirs soup in her little outdoor kitchen. Goldenrod and pokeberry blaze, the first leaves carpet the lawn. Noah pretends to chop firewood, lays in the hammock and reads books to his sister. Daddy cleans the canoe to take out for summer’s last hurrah. I trim more little bundles of lavender to dry for the winter, and then I trim little girls’ hair and marvel at how sweet they look now with their little matching bobs. It was a sweet one, this summer, even with its pockets of pain and heartache along the fringes. We are missing the thunderstorms, the heaps of cucumbers and tomatoes, but we are ready to lay it to rest and welcome the crisp cozy air of fall, the beautiful new light of October, the lighting of the first hearth fire. Alls well that ends well, as they say.