This past summer passed lazy & quick, a contradiction that I’m still trying to reconcile as the leaves begin to turn outside our front living room.
In June, I sat with Madeleine L’Engle in my lap & determined that I would live more intentionally. I didn’t know what it looked like at the time; I thought it might look like an office nook with a small window where I would write but reality turned into long days at the swimming pool & a new job & a broken air conditioner.
I stretch my arms above my head. I can reach behind me & tap my coworker, but her ear buds are in & her fingers fly across the keyboard. Her dog sits with his head on my lap & I scratch his ears – we’re good buddies & it’s a welcome distraction. The greatest adjustment has been the constant companionship. Being elbows away from my coworkers creates an environment of collaboration & brainstorming, but I am also “peopled-out” by the end of the week.
No, I don’t want to go out to dinner. I really don’t want to take a spin class. A concert sounds like my own personal hell. I just want my book & a hot cup of coffee, please.
We lie side-by-side in the dark. It’s hot but not uncomfortable, just the kind where you lie on top of the mattress & say “God bless ceiling fans” at the end of your prayers. It’s on the days that hit 90 where I think about selling a kidney to pay for a new unit (& new kitchen floor & new windows) but truthfully, it’s not that bad. It’s no different than the summer I spent in the Appalachian mountains in a cabin or tent, surrounded by the quiet.
Sometimes I think I like the hot nights where I barely dare to breathe in case I start to sweat. It reminds me of cricket noises bouncing off the lake, before marriage & bills & cell phones that could add a filter to any part of life.
It’s early morning & we’re facing the sun; I flip the visor down & hand Harry a cheese stick. He’s growing so fast that by the time we’re on the road, he’s hungry again. “Mommy, when do I go to PreK?” he asks. I sigh because we have this conversation every morning – not a sigh of exasperation for him, but a sigh of frustration that my answer won’t change & I know it will hurt his feelings. He’s been in a strange situation at daycare, that despite his October birthday he has been moving up with the kids that will go to kindergarten next fall. So while all of his friends are now moving up to PreK, we’ve decided to have him spend an extra six months in Preschool. It’s a solid move – he’s too immature to sit through lessons. “We’ll talk about it after Christmas, buddy,” I tell him. His little mouth drops & I explain again that he needs to be four, that there needs to be a seat in the class, that he needs to be able to do his letters. “I just want my old friends back,” he whispers.
I don’t like to see him hurt, even when it’s over who he plays with on the playground.
I sweep the cobwebs from Harrison’s playhouse as Doug mows the grass. As Sara Bareilles says, “the winters light feels different on my skin -it doesn’t seem to strike as far below the surface.” As always, I can feel the shift in the days & sunlight. I tilt my face up to sky but this year, I’m not afraid. Being more settled means my heels are dug in a little deeper than last year. I don’t even notice the sunset these days.
I open my blog. I’m not sure how to do this anymore. There are so many times that I think I’m over the blogging world, but I’m not over blogging. I’m not over the writing & connecting & telling stories that make me laugh & cry & wonder what the hell is happening in this universe. But oh man, am I over the Facebook pages & top 100 lists & Pinterest roundups because in the end, I just want to talk to you.
To live intentionally & still publicly open my heart.
I’m so glad you are still here. Thank you for that.