Exit Summer

Summer is fading. In some ways, it seems as though summer, at least the ones I remember as a kid—never arrived. You know the ones—full of friends, adventures—seemingly endless in duration.

I can always tell when summer begins getting antsy, commencing packing up the cottage,readying to return to wherever she goes until the following year in late May and early June. That’s when she’ll return for a few short visits, tidying up the seasonal digs, before arriving in glory in July. Then, if lucky, summer has a solid 6-8 week run, offering endless options and bliss.

With the release of another Farmers’ Almanac, local news directors all trotted out stock images and file video reminding us of last year’s snowy winter. If local TV news is anything, it is predictable. That was the big story for Monday.

Apparently, we’re in for a repeat of last winter and snow. So much for global warming in these parts.

Last night, I drove to Pine Point for an open water swim. It was my final prep for Sunday’s Challenge Americas Triathlon and this year’s Olympic-length effort. The beach was fogged in and the surf was rough. The mile swim was a tough one. I got banged around in the waves, wrapped in seaweed, and I lost track of some of my swim partners. Despite being reminded of the power of the sea, it was oddly peaceful just concentrating on my stroke, while occasionally looking up to site my course.

Open water.

Open water.

Despite the foggy conditions, standing on the beach, post-workout, peeling of my wetsuit, I soaked in the natural world and my surroundings. The twilight cool on my damp skin felt wonderful. I was tired from fighting the surf and even a little queasy from being bounced around. But I was in the moment, experiencing the world around me—not some virtual representation of it.

As I sit here, trying to produce a couple hundred words to meet another self-imposed blogging deadline, I am reminded that I didn’t dance enough with summer yet again this year. My plans for spending every other weekend at the ocean went unrealized. I never sat in a seat at Hadlock Field, drinking beer and marveling at the skills of future Red Sox prospects. I did get out on my bike and log enough miles on the pavement to be reminded by my balky right knee that I’m no runner.

And also reminded that with each passing summer not maximized, it gets crossed off my list of seasons remaining. I’ll never have them back.

4 thoughts on “Exit Summer

  1. What is happening in our lives that so many of us feel this way?
    The times that we can do things we want to do and need to do seem to be lessening.

  2. Last night, Handy and I were out and about and we noticed it was dark at 8:00 p.m. It was sad, but yet I was happy that we were “doing something” and not staring at digital images of fun. But the crickets are still getting louder each day. Thank goodness for my morning glories which have not yet started to fade.

    What is happening? We are getting older. Sometimes, when I see Dad sitting in his lawn chair in the afternoon, I think “why is he taking a nap? He’s not old!” But he is 82. Naps are ok when you’re 82. I’m glad Dad gets to take more naps, thinking about all the interrupted sleep he had when we were younger or from his work at the mill.

    What is happening? We live in a culture that says “one must have a bucket list! Do more, be more!” That becomes one’s raison d’etre. Add social media and voila! No one is happy that they haven’t yet been to Paris or seen the pyramids.

    I don’t think I’ll be able to go to the Fryeburg Fair this year. But you know what? That’s ok. Living well doesn’t require so much.

    And lovely weather will continue long into October. Live well!

  3. @Sally I’m not sure how to answer your rhetorical (?) question. I’m not even sure how widely that sense of “time slipping away” is among other Americans. I am aware that people around me stay in constant motion. Maybe all of their busyness is a default that allows them not to have to face up to the awareness that our lives are finite, with an endpoint. Oh, and we haven’t been told when that date/time is.

    @JAB I used to dream of going to Europe; perhaps France, Italy, and Germany (where Opa and Nana came from). I’m okay with the reality that I’ll probably not have the means to be able to spend tens of thousands of dollars to make that trip. There are lots of great places nearby that I haven’t seen, or that I’ve been to, and would like to go back to and enjoy. This weekend, I’ll spend some time on the beach at OOB, like my Franco-American ancestors used to.

    The idea and practice of “living well” is a worthy and commendable one.

  4. I agree with what both you and Julie are saying. I think you and Julie are giving examples of “living well” but when I talk to some people and look at my life the daily part of “living well” proves to be difficult. I guess it depends a lot on the challenges that one must face outside of oneself at any given time….we have all been there….and those challenges can be “constants” of what our particular daily live is. However another way to look at is, are there things/behaviors/outlooks that only we as individuals can master to change, so our focus can be on “living well?”

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