Monday, September 20, 2010

Summer Simmer

This summer is in simmer mode, with mornings and evenings that tease and taunt and lull us into believing fall is just around the bend. It may be true, but the flip side of that coin is that the bend is really, really long and the summer is really, really hot and I am really, really over it.
I long for cool mornings, coffee in a big mug, windows wide open, fall candles burning. I am nostalgic about Luca's first and second autumns, when I worked at home two days every week and soaked up the sweet early mornings with a slow-rising sun and a giggling baby in jammied feet. I dream of mornings at home, sitting on the just-vacuumed floor, with a load of laundry in the washer and fresh sheets hanging on the line outside, shading the back patio. I wish for kids napping in a cool afternoon, while I sit outside with a laptop and a freshened cup of coffee, working and writing and reading and soaking in the warmth of the sun as the lazy afternoon peaks. I have a hollow spot in my chest, a dull lump in my throat when I think about all the mornings I've missed with my babies, with blueberry pancakes and bananas and little creamy-white puddles of milk pooling from a sippy cup onto the tile. I want to sneak away at 9 am when we all need sweaters, pulling two blonde imps in a red wagon and watching them run and spin and dance with barefeet in the grass. I want to have all the house chores finished by lunchtime so the afternoon stretches out lazy in front of me.

I am trying to find the power of center. The joy in just being, and in just belonging. Here. Now. But it's getting lost in the noise, the hum of bees stealing the nectar of all my flowers and I want to silence the bees. I know they are making sweet honey, raw and wild, but I want them to stop for a moment so I can hear the sound of stillness. Of air. Of weightlessness and the breath of the trees as they reach for the golden afternoon sun.

I jump from stone to stone, worry to worry, and I almost miss my own reflection in the stream. But I have those two little cherubs with their golden hair and their smiling eyes, skipping smooth stones across the surface or sinking a big round rock into the water with a "Plip". I promise myself I will watch as a crest of water rises to swallow the rock, that I will take note of the way neither hard earth nor nebulous water fights the breeching. At the way water rises to envelope stone and surrounds it in an embrace. At the way the rock breaks the surface, then settles without argument exactly where it's placed.

I want to be the flower and the nectar, the honey and the bee. I want my children to have it all. I want to have it all, and then I realize I already do. Somedays, I am the stream. Somedays, the stone. Some mornings I pack a lunch and sling a big blonde baby boy on my left hip, picking my way carefully up a cobblestone walk to leave him in the waiting arms of a woman who loves him like he was her own flesh and not just another paycheck. I commute and commiserate and invent and create and bang my head against proverbial walls and feel powerful or powerless and hate clothes with zippers and buttons and love myself in heels and lipgloss. Other mornings, I languish in laziness, thanking seamstresses of generations past for stretchy pants and shelf-bra tanks and picking untouched blueberry pancakes from a sticky syruped plate for a mid-morning snack, enjoying breezes, yearning for naptimes, wasting a morning on reruns and Big Big World and HGTV, crafting with my girl and cuddling with my boy. It's perfect and it's not. I want what I can't have and I wish and dream about the things I will change and the new adventures I will undertake, someday. When I have more: time, money, motivation, coffee, sleep.

I find a new approach. I remind myself that dreaming big is good, that imagination is critical and aspirations keep the world spinning when energy and motivation are on sabbatical. I remind myself that I can't relive what's been lived, and so I choose just to keep on. To live the happiness and the frustrations. To dream big but keep my feet on the ground and always moving forward.

Right now, though, I am forgiving myself this one wishing-away: the wishing-away of summer. Because after summer comes long cold mornings and earthy candles and footy jammies and holidays and coffee steam and bliss.

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