The vortex of summer
How’s your summer going?
Are you diving headfirst into the fleeting, sunny vortex of small, river-washed bodies,
and the seductive lure of summer that whispers: come outside; to the garden, the river, the woods, the mountains, the shady park.
I didn’t turn my computer on for three days and a lovely thing happened: absolutely nothing. My e-mails waited patiently in line, my blog didn’t implode or shrivel up, and I tasted the tangy freedom of letting go of my writerly ambitions. And see, these ambitions, which usually feel as necessary to quench as my dry, June thirst, bloom in dark indoor spaces, me and the screen intertwined like secret lovers, the clock ticking away the moments we have alone. But in this season I am drawn to come outside; to the garden, the river, the woods, the mountains, the shady park.
And I adore and need my writing practice with an intensity I barely have time to stop and ponder, and yet there’s that heavy obligatory anchor dragging my mind through the sharp rocks when I interpret the blogging fine print to read “post often or die.” I suspect some of you understand.
Yesterday it was my birthday. And having learned from Mother’s Day that it’s not quite “my day” as long as there are little people around who need orifices wiped and fierce reminders about chokeables, I sent the kids out with Dan for the evening and invited a bunch of Mama girlfriends over.
I left my camera upstairs in the spirit of unplugging from the anchor, the sharp rocks, and took snapshots in my mind:
:: bare feet in the grass.
:: a plate of food resting on a pregnant belly.
:: laughter slamming me in the gut like an ocean wave.
:: fresh sangria splashing into glasses.
:: the contagious giddiness of being together without children
Dan returned at sunset with the kids–who bounced in as lovely and bright as starlight–with a small mess of crawfish caught at Lemon Lake.
“What presents did you get?” the kids grilled me, certain that a birthday party is strictly an occasion to eat cake and rake in presents. I received chocolate-covered strawberries and a few books I am excited to read, but really, just hanging with the girls without having to tame the feral offspring into eating dinner before birthday cake or to share the sandbox shovel, was truly the best gift. Gathering with girlfriends in the backyard swirl of climbing peas and apricot sunsets and chirping sparrows was like a little whisper in my ear: this too, Mama. You too.
I want to say thank you to the two people who used to chase me around, wiping my orifices and making sure I ate my vegetables before dessert. The best gift my parents ever gave me was their unconditional support and love. Even when I was a surly teenager moping around like I actually knew what a hard life was; even when I developed an apathy for school like an unshakeable disease; even when I repeatedly broke their rules, upholding “not getting caught” as an ideal above all – but not being very skilled at it; even when I was so egocentric it rarely occurred to me that my parents were actually people outside of being my parents, they never withdrew their unconditional love. I hope I can be as compassionate and resolute when it is my turn to raise teenagers who don’t want to be raised.
And the best gift they give me now, is adoring my children.
I am grateful, I am grateful, I am grateful.
ps: this may be a good time to subscribe to 6512 and growing via e-mail so you don’t miss anything. wink wink.