If you wrote a post for this month’s check-in, I invite you to join the One Word party, share in Comments below, or reflect on your own–whatever works.
I’m just glad you’re here!
As fast as July went (for lots of us, sounds like!) — that’s how long August has felt to me.
…It’s the first full August we’ve ever spent at the cottage, so we’re experiencing a serious shift in temperature and light. (It’s happening fast!)
…It’s the longest summer break my kids will ever have. Colorado schools got out in late May; they’ll start in New York the day after Labor Day.
…And you might have gleaned from my last few posts that August has had ups + downs for me.
Perhaps these dynamics — the varied ways of being + feeling — are tricking, or simply slowing, my sense of time?
Regardless, the prompt I put in place for August proved to be worthwhile.
It was simple. Quick. Kind of fun. Sometimes, a distraction. On my most challenging days, it forced me to stop whatever I was doing…or feeling…and think about the smallest summer joys, for a second.
Those fleeting pleasures.
Like a ripe peach.
Moments I’ll be glad to remember mid-winter…and literally hold in my hand!
Excerpted from my August prompt:
I’m going to write…on a small rock each morning (or maybe the evening before)…a simple summertime something that I want to be sure not to miss.
(As it turned out, I often stopped toward evening, instead, and picked a moment to ‘keep’ on my stones.)
a good beach day : : thoughtful speakers at Chautauqua : : all our farmstand + CSA meals! : : rain (finally.) : : the reminder to let go : : the vibrant orange of a female cardinal’s beak : : a good book + cup of coffee : : walking in the woods above our cottage, exploring fungi with Troy. (My favorite smells like leather!)
Slowly, a beautiful kind of calendar took shape. A summertime diary, almost. Hard to make out here, but you get the idea —
Now, one week remains* in the final stretch before school. Time enough for another beach day. Or two? Our last August birthday. And a final summer visit from friends. We’re waking up to cooler mornings at the cottage. A hummingbird’s at the feeder as I write, and I wonder…how many more weeks will they be here?
*But. There are technically 25 days left in summer, still! And I’m scheming to use every one of ’em.
To close, a gut-punch of a Walcott poem. Forget that it’s not exactly midsummer:
Midsummer, Tobago by Derek Walcott
Broad sun-stoned beaches.
A green river.
scorched yellow palms
from the summer-sleeping house
drowsing through August.
Days I have held,
days I have lost,
days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.
Engage ’22, in this way, reminds me of a bit of what I learned with My One Word, Curate ’21…in that life is not…does not have to be…all one, all the other. All easy, all hard. We can make it that way–sure. As hedonists or martyrs! But, assuming we don’t aspire to either of those, our experience is most full when we leave room–or make room–for all of it.
The link party’s open Monday through Sunday. I hope you’ll join us! And I’ll be back on Thursday to share my September(!) prompt.