Towards the radiance

This has been a marvelous summer in many ways. I’ve really let myself sink into life at home with Grace and Whit, and I’ve been fortunate to do some special things with them that I hope they will always remember. They have each commented to me that they like having me around more, a comment which delights and saddens me at the same time (I am going back to work in a few weeks). The kids seem taller by the day, both are tanned, relaxed, and happy, and their relationship is developing into a true friendship (though of course the non-stop fighting has not changed).

It’s also been a strange and somewhat sad summer, an interval of time suspended between two realities, between the known and the unknown. Newness and change hover on the horizon, and as we move towards the end of August the shadows they throw grow ever longer. The summer always feels a bit apart from regular life, and that has been even more true than usual this year. There’s something safe about that knowledge, but also something sorrowful. This special time draws to an end and I feel its closing in my bones, like the sudden chill in the evenings and the infinitessimally different angle of the sun.

We still have three weeks left, but a part of me is already lunging towards the fall, wishing the changes would just come already rather than continue to lurk around the corners of my days. I’ve begun to feel that preemptive anxiety that always robs me of the riches of today. I wish I could push the insistent awareness of what is coming out of my field of vision, so that I could purely inhabit the days that still lie between me and that future. I’ve never been good at that, though.

Today is my birthday, signaling the clanging shut of another year, and the promise of another (oh the blessing it is that this is so – I know it, I do). Mid August seems to be when peoples’ attentions shifts towards fall, despite the fact that we are still deep in long hot summer days. A perfect analogy for me, I think, and the way I exist both here, now, but also in the future (and the past) in a way that sometimes occludes the radiance of my ordinary life.

“What will be will be well, for what is is well.” (Walt Whitman, thank you to Glenda Burgess for the reference).

Onward. Into the unknown – and the unknowable. Towards the radiance.

23 thoughts on “Towards the radiance”

  1. First of all, dear Lindsey, happy birthday. Once our cakes get too small for all the candles, they are all bittersweet.

    And second, your summer reminds me of this quotation:

    “And there is one thing certain: the great mass of men and women grow up and reach real maturity only through their contact with the material realities of living, with business, with industry, with all the great bread-winning activities; but the growth and the maturing take place in the intervals between these activities: and in lives where there are no such intervals there will be no real growth.”

    — Edith Wharton, French Ways And Their Meaning, 1919

    So brilliant of you to take this interval, just at the moment you seemed to need it most. And during the most radiantly summer I can recall.

  2. A very Haopy Birthday to you,

    And many wishes for another year of open hearted exploration of all that is right here…. A wise man once told me that all we need to do in life is radiate the good that is in us. You do just that, beautifully.

  3. Ah, it must be in the air. I just posted a similarly themed piece last night. Yes to moving on toward the radiance indeed.

    And on the other note – Happy Birthday to you, dear Lindsey. I hope wonderful things find you today, in this in between kind of place.

  4. happy birthday! i can feel your leo-radiance in your writing and photography (what exquisite sunflowers). hoping you celebrate and are celebrated today and everyday.

    p.s. resonating deeply with the tangled emotions that surface with the unknown.

  5. Happy Birthday! I relate on a few levels; one, I am also sending my young one off to almost full time pre K, and it seems like it marks the end of my stay-at-home -mom days. two, I am also going back to work full time after being able to have flexible jobs that my children are welcome at and three, I always feel stuck in relishing and wanting to attach onto the moment and wanting to see what the future brings. Fall always seems to come too early for me and although we have 2 weeks before school starts, I feel resigned to all the scheduling and being away from my kids.
    blessings to you!

  6. For reasons completely different, my summer has felt MUCH the same way this year. I can so relate to that feeling of hoovering between here and there, of wanting change to just get here already while grasping to hold onto now. Happy Birthday! I hope it will be a satisfying year for you.

  7. The happiest of birthdays to you, Lindsey. Especially during this bittersweet moment between “now” and “then.”

    I know what you mean about aching for fall even as summer is still demanding our attention. We’ve just broken out of a two-week heat wave in the 100s. And a drop of even 10 degrees has me pining for jeans and sweaters and that lovely nip in the air. Even though it means your summer at home with the kids is winding down, I hope you’ll find excitement in the transition back to your regular routine. I always found such excitement at the start of a new school year. It just seems filled with opportunity.

    Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful day. I’ll be thinking of you.

  8. Happy Birthday! Time to squeeze as much out of the rest of the summer as we can. On deck for this week: Two museums, the zoo, a trip to San Diego, and a screening of the greatest hits of Chuck Jones.

  9. I love that Whitman quote. Beautiful (as are your words…)
    Why is it so hard to revel in the last few days of summer? While we’re not heading off to school adventures this year, there’s still that pull towards order and fresh beginnings and unknowns whenever September rolls around. I can’t even fathom adding school into the mix…
    Happy Birthday 🙂

  10. safe/unsure. happy/sorrowful. known/unknown. clanging shut/promise of another. past/future. friendship/fighting. here/there. life on both sides of the slash and in the midst, one thing is absolutely definite: my wishing you a happy birthday.

  11. You summed up exactly how I’ve been feeling as these final days of summer are happening to us all. Happiest of Birthdays to you!

  12. About to head for that last walk to the candy store in the little town that could be Grovers Corner… resonating to Whitman and Wharton and wishing you the very best on this B-Day point on the endless spiral.

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