Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Missing Summer Before It's Gone

Glancing out the window into the backyard, I see that two neighbor children have joined my monkey-girls in the maple tree. The air is crisp and fresh, like a crunchy piece of celery, but lacks the biting chill of Autumn. The kids are still dressed for summer-- shorts and no sleeves. They play in the shade long enough to realize that they are cold, then run to the sunny spots in the yard to warm themselves like lizards on a rock. Though school has started, these kids are squeezing out the last evenings of summer like water from a sponge.

I look out the window and watch their willowy legs, now too long for last year's pants. I see the maturing way in which my children interact with their peers. Their games are more complicated, their imaginings grounded in facts and maxims recently learned. They are testing gravity with a complex entanglement of jump-ropes, which Eleanor has spent the last few weeks methodically installing in the tree. I wonder-- not for the first time-- whether jump-ropes and trees are a safe combination, but I can't bring myself to stomp on their fun with my giant Safety Patrol boot.

We walk to the Farmer's Market for the third-to-last time for this season. In two weeks the market will close and we will mourn its loss until late next Spring. I buy Strawberries at one booth-- "they are ever-bearing," the lady explains-- and they are all gobbled up before we get home.

I think about my summer: the too-much rain, the fighting children, the long stretch of unstructure that unnerved me. But when January rains trap us indoors like Noah on the ark, I know this will be the summer day I long for: the one that tasted like celery and strawberries, and felt like lovers parting ways.

8 comments:

wheelsonthebus said...

Lovely. We miss summer as the hints of fall come in. Some sort of metaphor for life changes, no?

Summer said...

One of the things I most appreciate about my moving to and fro is my awareness of climate and landscape. In the almost southern Midwest that I live in, early September is hot. No longer humid (thank god) but hot. It no longer rains, everything feels dry and it's starting to get cold at night. I'm feeling held to my couch by school books and trying to remind myself that the "settling in" time of the new school year has passed. I miss the freedom to simply sit on my amazing front porch and watch my neighborhood. I miss reading books simply for pleasure! But, I'm happy to have my 2nd year underway and am ever curious which direction my moving truck will point next summer. I won't know until the early days of your girls climbing back up into their tree next year. Something for us all to look forward to!

Duck Doc said...

Fall will always be my favorite season. The changing leaves, the smell of them burning and lingering in the air, the crisp air in the morning but still clear days until mid October, football games and Indian Summer! Something to look forward to as summer ends....

bgirl said...

gorgeous.

i too will miss those big colorful flags we see from a block away as we make our evening voyage to the market.

Seattle Mamacita said...

we've been so lucky to have these fantastic couple weeks of weather...may it keep on keeping on.

Kendra Joy said...

mmm... I've been thinking the same things. Realizing that I want to cling to summer but that so many things are changing - beyond my control.

Pate Family said...

I feel the same way...Each day it is still nice seems like this total bonus. It makes me feel like we have to totally take advantage of every minute of it... the way we should always live.

Lori said...

I think those September/October days of sun are even more glorious than those in August or July. Perhaps because we know to treasure them because winter is looming.

This was a beautiful description and made me want to get outside!! May we all enjoy some more days of fall sun (Please!!)