When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Late August

I've been blissfully ignoring the back-to-school advertising for several weeks, but there is now no escaping the subtle signs in nature that change is in the air.  The temperatures are feeling a little cooler this week, and I'm starting to notice how much earlier the evening sky begins to succumb to dusk these days.  Sometimes I feel like the little critters in our backyard who are so in tune with the shifting seasons, who sense deep within what's happening in nature, whose instincts compel them to do what they need to be ready for what's coming next.  These end of summer changes make me restless, and make my heart and mind feel pulled in multiple directions from one moment to the next.

Late August always fills me with anticipation, with optimistic wondering about what the return to school and activities and a more structured life will bring for all of us in the coming seasons.  It urges me to get everything organized to make things go smoothly in the months when free time will seem much harder to come by.  (Maybe this will seem crazy, but I have to admit that filling new backpacks with new, neatly packed pencil cases and bright, clean gym shoes, and filling the freezer with baked goods for school snacks is oddly satisfying.) But I also feel a deep yearning to be able to relive the many wonderful moments of our summer, to hold on to the family and old friends we've had a chance to be reunited with, to grasp the days filled with laughter and time spent all together and never let them go.  I guess this is what makes us humans different from the little critters in the backyard:  we have the capacity for the bittersweet realization that there is no going back, that with every day we live we leave favourite moments behind, and that those memories, as lovely as they are to have, will sometimes tug at our hearts and make us long to return to days already gone by.

This nostalgic feeling will wax and wane.  When August turns to September and then October, the little ache will be replaced with the joys of autumn:  weekend trips to apple orchards, walks on sidewalks strewn with crunchy leaves, cozy sweaters, warm drinks and comfort foods.  We will fill our days with different kinds of wonderful moments, and fully embrace the adventures that a new school year will bring.  The key for me today is to try to be neither clinging too much to the recent past nor leaping too far ahead of myself as this season of fun and relaxation winds down.  Right now, the summer sun still shines; how very lucky I am to be able to turn my face towards it and soak up every last ray.

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