Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summer in Stolen Minutes

For best effect of reading this piece, please click the song and let it begin playing while you read...

This past Sunday marked the end of free time. Everyone would return to school the next day. Two still needed hair cuts, I hadn't found the locker shelf and we kept forgetting to purchase a protractor, but otherwise, everyone knew we were ready. School would dictate the next nine months. Colleges would be picked, records made, grades that marked where one would go the next year, and show whether we had a blip last semester, or a problem we had to face. 

But we wanted one more plunge into the pool of possibilities, so my husband fired up the grill. The kids donned swim suits and we spent the day drinking coke from a bottle, eating ice cream on cones, and playing whiffle ball while dodging the teens armed with water pistols. No one worried about calories or sun screen or mosquitos. We willed ourselves through the day, with the stereo blasting the Eagles and Jimmy Buffett, eating fresh tomato salad.  I cut big slices of watermelon for everyone. 

When everyone showered and the last of the teeth were brushed, I found my husband testing out his father's day present for the first time. The hammock on a stand had become something of a joke, a thing we'd meant to get to, but never did. He'd been away that weekend visiting his own dad, the rings didn't fit and when we finally got the replacements, it just hadn't become a priority to set up. 

Now, laying under the fan on the screened deck, strands of favorite songs playing, the very air screamed, why have you waited? What kind of madness have you held onto that you could not want to just experience rest? And we lay there long beyond the normal dutiful "I'm testing it out" time, pulling into our hearts, the immeasurable gold of Summer, unplanned, unstructured, unintentional stillness.

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