It is not yet the end of August, but already I find myself saying farewell to this summer. It has been a ritual of sorts for me, for more years than I can remember, to respectfully, if not somewhat formally, say goodbye to the season that brings us more daylight hours per day than any other on the east coast; more time for fun, frolic, and free spiritedness; and more opportunities, if we choose to embrace them, to look forward, backwards, and into the moments we exist. For me, summer is a season when I sense that time gets suspended, or maybe just ticks a half moment slower, than any other time during the year. It is just enough of a difference to be felt. If you pay attention, those half-tocks might add up to something substantial over the course of many years -- maybe in the end an extra second, minute, or hour on this earth. It is the season when we will stop to notice the warmth on sunny days that sends steaming mists when rain showers unexpectedly drench the baked dirt and the ground appears to "sweat" out what ails it, sending impurities streaming upward toward a rainbow that offers new hope after the storm.
The backpacks are stuffed, the forms are filled out and sitting on the table for signature, my husband is somewhat melancholy as he gets ready for an empty house as two children climb aboard the yellow school bus for the first time tomorrow morning. There are no more daycare drop-offs or pick-ups for us. Both children are looking forward to school, blind to the speed at which the days are passing. Barney came on the television today and I let it play, even though my next generation were obsessed with their Gameboys and had long ago declared their independence from the big purple dinasour. But not their imaginations, thank goodness. Their minds continue to churn, create, mold, inspire and dream. Maybe for grownups like me, I need to see the purple one to remember that it wasn't that long ago we could recite every song, but it will not be so long before summers will be for sleepaway camps and first loves.
For now, summer suspends time and then lets go. The seasons march on. I reflect the passing of time, ready for what lies ahead and knowing I will have next year to again travel backwards, forwards, and in the moment to live all that brings me joy.