Ironically, I started this post on the days of 100-degree temperatures. The days when you can’t quite put away the swimsuits and flip-flops, yet cozy sweaters and fleece-lined boots seem too far in the distant.
Summer is melting away as we’re welcoming fall, and this is the time of year the weather always throws me. It both drags on as we adjust to a new schedule and erratically changing weather. Last week our days included icy popsicles and tank tops. This week we drink hot tea in the morning and don flannel pj's at night. Next week, the forecast expects more shorts in the future.
A busy summer has meant for us what it likely means for many: full hearts, messy homes. Swimsuits hanging on the bathroom hooks, power tools on the kitchen counter, deflated birthday balloons in the hallway. Summer was good to us: the road-trips and vacations and ice cream in waffle cones. Park walks, bike rides and swim meets. Sidewalk chalk on the soles of our feet. Impromptu lemonade stands with neighborhood friends. Juicy giant tomatoes and sweet strawberries. It was the lightness we needed after a long, hard, challenging spring.
Transitions are hard for me. I want to force them, to speed them up, to snap my fingers and be done with the whole process. Summer to fall, fall to winter, all in a matter of tidy moments. We’ve been back in school and tightening the reins on our routine for nearly eight weeks now. Homework done. Papers graded and lessons planned. Bedtimes adjusted. Soccer games, tennis clinics, and ballet lessons. Summer is melting away. I like summer, I like the heat, I like the long days and the early morning light. I like the spontaneity that the season brings.
This weekend, two of our members have gone on a daddy-daughter campout. So, the big girls and I have nearly the entire weekend to ourselves. We watched Harry Potter, snuggled on the couch under blankets. We read multiple chapters of our current read-aloud, The Indian in the Cupboard. We have plans for an afternoon hike, a Target run to pick up the final pieces for our Halloween costumes and perhaps another round of Monopoly, or a long bike ride to grab dinner.
I look forward to apples, and blankets and leggings and for shorter days in the sun. But, it’s not yet time. The sun is still high in the sky, the leaves still lush. I see the squash popping up at the market, and cucumbers are still in my CSA, but the tomatoes have disappeared. Then, yesterday morning, there was a chill in the air, enough to grab the gloves for the girl’s morning bike ride to school. On my walk home, I picked up a fallen leaf of brightly colored golden orange and red.
It felt a little like acceptance. It felt like an announcement of “and,” like a declaration that life can be both summer and fall, spontaneous and planned, … and everything in-between. It felt like both the mourning of tomatoes and the celebration of apples. The hot, the cold, the wool, the stripes, the summer, the fall, the beginning of the end of the beginning.
Here’s to the season we’re in, and the one to come. Here’s to the middle, the “and,” the both. Here’s to all of it.