There is always a point in early August when it feels like we are stopped at the top of a Ferris wheel, stalled out for a while, before we begin the ride down. It’s often around this particular day–Sarah’s birthday. Forty-one years ago, the two of us were glued together by sweat, near an open window in a corner of the ward, at Boston Lying-In Hospital. I was so grateful for the occasional breeze which wafted over us and ruffled the floral curtain pulled around my bed. I remember knowing how in a few days I would bring this little bundle home in time to have Joy’s six-year old birthday party, and school would be starting and I’d be frantic to get both her and Valerie ready while tending to a newborn, and the summer would come to an end. During those sweltering days in the hospital, time just stood still.
Wow, we’ve been busy since I wrote that I was waiting for summer to begin. At one point, over four consecutive days, there were 43 people here at the lake house, swimming, boating, eating, drinking. All the beds were taken by my immediate family, but the relatives from Colorado and Hawaii stayed nearby, and who could resist gorgeous sunny days here on the water. Several paddles were lost at sea, but no injuries or visible wounds were incurred. At the moment, we’re down to Val and the three kids, with their Dad arriving this week from California. New family members will touch down to join us next Saturday, but we’ll largely be a family of seven for the duration of their stay until mid-month.
An announcement was made last night that we are going to put an end to the midnight bedtimes, and kids rolling out of bed near noon, and just go do some stuff. We’ve been trying, but the sunsets stretch out in pink gold light, or the baseball game from California goes long, or the International Space Station is due to fly by overhead, or the new fingernail moon rising in the West can’t be missed, and the peak of the Perseid shower is but a week away. So, with hot sunny days that are quintessential summer, we just shelter in place as layabouts–floating in the water, reading novels on the shady porch, or napping in the hammock. We’re going to break out the croquet game today for a bit of exercise, but, we are pleasantly stalled out at the top of the Ferris wheel.
August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a matchflame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.― Elizabeth Maua Taylor