“As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:22
The last four weeks have been a whirlwind! We spent almost a week in Rhode Island, including a day trip to Nantucket. We followed that up with major family celebrations: Joel’s first birthday; Maggie’s and Will’s engagement; Maggie’s birthday; our anniversary. We returned home only to have my son and his family follow a few days later for a week long vacation in Pennsylvania. After tearful goodbyes, I had a day to do laundry and pack for a short getaway to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. The whirlwind ended in quarantine with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis! As I write this, I am slowly recovering without my sense of smell and taste. It might sound like poor planning on all our parts, but it was crazy, busy fun, except for COVID-19! We laughed, played Canasta, took walks, drank a lot of coffee, and had meaningful conversations. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it for anything!
According to Facebook memories, this time of the year always seems to be busy. In the last few weeks, I have reread posts about Joel’s birth, Maggie’s missionary trips, Ethan’s packing for college, and his later move to Rhode Island. I even saw a post from 2009 when Terry took Ethan and a group of boys camping up in northern Wisconsin while Maggie and I had a girl’s weekend at home. These posts remind me of treasured moments with my family while I soak up the last gifts of summer. They also remind me of how time doesn’t stop. Your son’s boxes filling your living room while he prepares to leave for college are replaced with suitcases and gifts for his son in what seems to have been a seamless transition, five years later.
Summer is quickly winding down. In the weeks ahead, many children head back to school, whether traditional, virtual, or home school. Apples and pumpkins will replace peaches and watermelon at farmers’ markets. Flannels and wool socks will be my clothing choices, retiring the flip-flops and short sleeves. Even now, I see hints of everything pumpkin spice creeping into stores. As I sit on my porch soaking up the ninety-degree heat while cicadas drown out my worship music, and bees and butterflies hover over my flowers, I realize that summer isn’t over!
For several springs, I have rushed to the Target patio furniture displays and drooled over the egg chairs, large, egg-shaped wicker chairs that are suspended from a pole. Each year, the styles slightly change with different shades of the cushion, but the dream of sitting in an egg chair on my patio, cozied up with a book, remained the same. Until recently, I never seriously entertained the idea because I was far above the weight limit. But now that I am under the weight limit, I kept eyeing the chairs, dreaming about it on my patio. For our anniversary, our children surprised us with the egg chair! l was overwhelmed with their generosity and have been sitting in the chair every chance I get. Even on the hottest days, sitting in the egg chair has made summer even more enjoyable.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned that too often we live in past seasons by only focusing on what has been. We reminisce about when our children were still young, and life seemed easier. On the flip-side, I think there is also danger in always looking forward to the next season. We can miss the important moments happening right now if we are always looking ahead. Yes, my past four weeks have been busy, but I am so thankful for the crazy-busy moments: the walks in my yard with my grandson; watching my daughter glow in her new status as an engaged young woman; strolling along the beach with my husband; the life-affirming conversations I had with friends and family. I lived in the moment, not looking ahead to the future.
It’s still summer and I am going to really enjoy the rest of the season. Being quarantined has made me appreciate moments on my patio more. My daily walks are on hold and the patio is the one place it is safe for me to enjoy nature. If the days are hot, I am not going to complain. Instead, I intend to soak up the heat and stay hydrated. Sitting in my egg chair, I enjoy hearing the crickets play their last sonatas of the summer season. I have even seen hummingbirds flitting around eating as much nectar as they can before they head for the tropics. I love fall, but summer is still here, and I am going to choose to live in the moment, today!