So the end of summer is here. Tomorrow I venture back into my sticky classroom to unpack and begin setting things up for a new school year. Like all endings, this one leaves me with a bittersweet, nostalgic taste in my mouth. To be truthful, I do not want to bid the yellow, slow-paced days of summer farewell. But I know I simply must....
Yet before the bloom of this last flowery day fades, in the spirit of cultivating a more grateful heart...I think I will take a few minutes to reflect on the gifts this summer offered me. I am beyond grateful for...
*relaxed walks...around the block, through paths in the woods, by the sea...during which I neither knew what time it was nor cared
*racing through the chilly sprinkler water with my mischievous little boy
*discovering the soft green moss crawling along a sidewalk in my neighborhood...I wouldn't have noticed it if my 21 month old hadn't showed me
*the simple fact that I was given another summer with my dogs by my side
*sitting on the deck squishing play doh with Lucas while Soph and Tuck sat nearby, squinting in the sun. I felt so content just to be with all three kids. (the day Sophie ate the play doh...well, that's a different story)
*flip flops, tank tops, and the forgotten sense of what being cold even feels like
*the distinct smell of summer rain and the joy of feeling drops of it melt into my warm skin...we didn't experience this often but I treasured each time that we did
*the sweet, unhurried rhythm of these simple days...mornings spent playing at Gymboree or music class or a playdate...followed by afternoon adventures in the sun of our neighborhood
When I think about it, the list could go on and on. This summer was stuffed full of moments to remember, to hold close. When I truly get to the heart of it, I guess what I am thankful for is the opportunity to spend this time, devoid of the 'rush' of our regular lives, with my family. With the absence of that little voice that likes to chase me around whispering, "hurry, hurry, hurry up", I was able to live in the moment much more often. And really, what is there beyond the present moment?
What's more, summer offers up this present of time, along with the warmth and sunlight that constantly beckons me outdoors. As I've touched upon in the past, time spent with nature is so damn good for my soul. There is something magical that happens when I am outside with my husband, my son, my dogs. The sun, the ocean, the woods...they all have a way of putting things in perspective for me. I am reminded of the brevity of each season of this life, and encouraged to enjoy each one for whatever it is. I am reminded to slow down and appreciate the beauty that it all around me. I am reminded of how it can all be so complicated, yet so simple, in the very same moment. I am reminded to choose my happiness.
So as this summer makes its curtain call tonight, I think I will rest easy...conscious of the 'busy-ness' that lies ahead...but content in knowing that my heart holds an eternal summer inside of it.