Not yet

Summer, I’m not ready to say goodbye to you, yet. Give me just a little more time, please. 

A short pause. A reprieve before the school buses line up and the stores run out of lined paper. 

I realize summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22, but we all know this coming weekend is the unofficial marker of the changing of the seasons. I am not ready for pumpkin spice everything yet.

I still need to paddle in the beer-coloured waters of a deep lake. I need to sit on a dock and smell the water, watch the politics play out amongst the ducks, ask people about today’s catch, as if I know one fish from another. 

I need to watch the boats float by. It brings to mind happy memories of being a passenger on my father’s beautiful cabin cruiser, the “Crown and Coke.” I loved going through the locks of the Trent Severn Waterway. A cottage on water. I loved boating. A lifetime ago. Great memories.

I need to drive for hours with music playing, windows down and the anticipation of my arrival at the cottage by the water where my friends are gathered, as they do on this week every year, waiting to hug me. And then, after a few days of soul renewal, driving back home with the awareness that I love where I live so much, I can’t wait to get back there.

I just hope the radio stations don’t play Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” on my drive. They always do in August. Nothing makes me more nostalgic and melancholy than when that song comes on the radio on a cool summer night. 

It’s ridiculous, I know, but that song takes me back in time to when nothing mattered but everything felt like it did. A time before responsibility, when actions challenged consequences. When a summer job paid for cool jeans and concert tickets. That innocence that had me believing my future could be whatever I dreamt it to be (I still believe that on some level, but with a healthy dose of reality).

I wouldn’t live through that time again for anything, honestly, but the nostalgia of the freedom I didn’t know I had lingers in my heart and fires up whenever I am overwhelmed that life is shifting again, beyond my control. Swift currents over soft sand. Always shifting. As it should.

This has been one of my best summers on record, for reasons that are as simple as having fresh air, quality time, physically moving every day and making time to stand barefoot on the grass. It’s true that if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. When you love where you do it and who you do it with, all the better.

So as the last long weekend of the summer arrives,  I won’t waste a moment of it thinking about what’s coming next. I’ll have deep conversations in a small circle, sharing in the honesty sparked by the warm glow of orange flames. Real connection in real time.

Thank you summer of 2023 for teaching me to trust my instincts. That blind faith is not blind at all. For showing me that joy is a goal worth pursuing. For reminding me that nature nurtures every emotion. 

Just give me another week to bask in this glow, please. 

Then, I promise to be ready for pumpkin-spice something.

WriteOut of Her Mind