Somehow summer is gone, and for some reason the photo above sort of sums it up for me. That's little S on the edge of Blue Lake in Northern California. It is, I am certain, an amazing spot. But when we visited several weekends ago as part of a wedding celebration for a friend the beauty was both obscured and oddly augmented by smoke from the gigantic Rim Fire threatening Yosemite some 70 miles or more to the south. In a lot of ways that's what summer has felt like to me - beautiful and obscured. There are fires on the horizon.
|S's first kayaking experience|
None the less I have had some necessary space to breathe, to let my mind roam a bit without the tethers of assigned readings and paper deadlines. My final year of seminary is ahead of me and it will be full of travel and preparation for vocational life beyond ordination. I'm excited, nervous and exhausted looking ahead. At the end of each summer I have a tradition, or perhaps just a habit, of reflecting on what of this season I might remember in years to come. Here's a few memories, bookmark guesses of what I'll keep from this summer to warm me up when the rains come.
- naked kids running through sprinklers on their grandpa's lawn, with water and mountains in the distance.
- my mother singing a story to J every night on our visit, and then over the phone once we got home.
- my step-mother's homemade pepper jelly
- S eating tomatoes from the garden
- J and her cousin T chasing an entire flock of geese
- learning to facepaint
- sitting with my neighbors on long sunlit evenings, watching kids chase and play
- getting an old friend as a new neighbor
- preaching all four services at St. Paul's for the first time
- the sun setting through the smoke while Kyle and Katty got married in the mountains
- walking through my neighborhood
- a California second birthday celebration for my baby S
|summer is for backyard blanket forts|
Fall is here in a big way and I'm not sorry. I'm ready for long walks in misty weather, scarves and layers, and the sort of bite in the air that justifies cuddling under heavy blankets at night. I'm even ready for homework and church work and the real live start of the hustle and bustle of the last year of school, the last year before (God willing!) my priestly ordination.
So, hello weather, hello sunrises that come early enough to watch. Bring it on, fall!