Deep in the heart of summer


We are entering the heart of summer.

These are the days that I live for the weekend, when the children stay up late and we laugh a lot and jump off the boat into the ocean and curl up on the couch and watch Wimbledon until the middle of the day.

They are the days when we lie on grass and watch fireworks, gasping out loud at the finale, with one loud concussive boom after another and the night sky lit up with sparkling white, gold, blue and white.

They are the days of four cousins biking to the ice cream store alone and eating hamburgers on the back porch and swimming out to the line (as far as you can go) as the rain from Hurricane Arthur began to come down in earnest.

They are the days of beach towels and bathing suits strewn on the back porch to dry in the sun and bed-headed Grace and Whit wandering downstairs when they wake up and family tennis.

They are the days of the annual Fourth of July parade and the WW2 veterans making me cry and the marching bands moving me in some inexplicable, powerful way.



The thing is, I’m already starting to mourn this season as I live it.  This is a familiar sensation for me, this nostalgia for something even while I am still very much in it, but rarely is it more keen than during the summer.  Every year it’s earlier, the date when I can feel the whisper of fall underneath all the summer, and I cling desperately to these days.  No matter how hard I try to be here now, though, no matter how much I hope that immersing myself in my life will make time slow down, the moments fall through my fingers like water even as I grasp.

It was hard to come home from the long weekend, honestly.  I loved seeing my sister and her family and some old, dear friends.  There was mess and chaos but there was also so much love, and so many memories.  I was sad on Sunday night, preparing to re-enter regular life, and part of that sorrow was that a part of the year that I so dearly love was over.  Another Fourth of July is gone, and I feel disoriented by how quickly this life is flying by.  Two years ago I posted pictures from the annual parade and when I view them tears fill my eyes. Just as I said then: everything and nothing changes.



13 thoughts on “Deep in the heart of summer”

  1. Oh, yes, I get it. Just this morning, I looked out the window to the sun beginning to rise and I recognized the glow and slant of light as particular to the heart of summer, and I suddenly felt a deep sadness for the swiftness of this season.

  2. I always love how eloquently you capture the ache between the beauty of the present and the grief of its leaving. I too adore this summer season, yet I dread how the days, are already shortening. Winter seems so far and yet I feel its grip right around the corner. And these children keep lengthening before my eyes, too. Beautiful and too much, all at once.

  3. I was JUST trying to explain this very feeling to a friend last night and she moaned and said, “Stop! Just enjoy it!”
    I wish I could.
    And I do.
    But still…the mourning of what I’m in still happens.

  4. Thank you for your descriptions of many episodes of the joy of now; precious and vital! I love the photos, too!

  5. I have a confession to make: I am not reading as regularly here as I used to because we share so many of the same ways of being (this one in particular), and when I read a post like this one it brings all of my feelings to the forefront. I can hardly bear them when they arise naturally from the experience of my life. Why would I go looking for more? And yet, here I am. Right there with you.

    Yes, if only those of us like this could do what Michelle’s friend moaned at her. And if only those who are not like this could realize how much we would love to be able to. Although I know this is the thing that allows me to feel deeply–and oh, how sweet the good feelings are!–there are times when I wish it away so that every wondrous moment would not be tinged with grief.

  6. Love the details in this post, love the contrast and contradiction you provide re: passing of time, and especially love your willingness to embrace both.

  7. I empathize and sympathize with this very much. I remarked recently that this is the first year where we’re tied to the school calendar and she’s home with me for much of the summer (minus a couple trips, two day camp weeks), unlike prior years when she’d be in daycare/preschool over the entire summer. Somehow this new arrangement seems to, sadly, amplify the passage of summer and almost condense it somehow. I’m not digging it, and this coming from someone who’s favorite season is autumn!

  8. I feel the same way Lindsey. I have my second eldest son entering his final year in the fall. More times than I care to admit, it keeps me from enjoying the moments I have with him or my others. It enters my mind all of the time and then I think of the years to come with all of them leaving the home and I know this cannot get easier. I am trying right now to think of all of this in a positive way or in a way that helps me grow and change for the better, but honestly, I am just stuck right now. The waves of sadness come to me on my walks or when I am driving. I would say that this is the one part of parenting I was not prepared for and was not warned about. I love your sentiments because I feel a little less crazy!! :))

  9. Lately I feel very much in the trenches with my three young ones (only 5, 3, 19 mos.), but in my hardest moments, on these endless days, it is your words, words like this, that remind me not to take it for granted…not any of it. So thank you. Really, thank you. xoxo

  10. Oh, my heart ached for you while reading this piece. I get it. This melancholy…It’s just what makes you….you. In a really good way;) Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mom. xoxo Jessie

  11. What is it about marching bands? They get me every single time. I even felt it when I was one of the marchers myself, many years ago. I am so very with you on this. I’m afraid we’ve entered the backside summer vacation, too chicken to actually look at the calendar and count the weeks. Oh,how I love reading your words as they perfectly mirror those in my heart. Thank you, friend.

  12. I totally get this and it’s so natural – to want to hold onto ALL THE GOOD THINGS. I love how you describe these days and memories. It is only the beginning of the summer here in the south and we have months to go while we swelter, but I remember those sweet summers growing up in the north. And even here, under the bell jar of heat, we have these days that are the best of summer and like you, I want a redo even before they are over.

  13. I can be the exact same way. Which is why I am so mesmerized by your discussions and focus on trying to be more present. I can’t help but wonder what I miss when I find myself always thinking ahead, always beginning to mourn something even when I’m still living that moment.

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