The Stillness of Summer

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After the rush and fury of one more school year finished and the books closed for the final time and all due dates and deadlines met for the next few months, comes — for me — the stillness of summer.

This year in particular, felt like my soul was in much need of a slower pace.  Once the last day of school had passed and the test scores were in and the paperwork filed, I was drawn to be quiet for a while.  To be restful.  To catch back up on my solitude and reading.  I needed to allow my thoughts to sift through the chaos of the past season and give myself permission to ease up on plans and appointments.

So it began, this stillness of summer.

It has been nearly a month of introspection and meditation and considering where this path is taking me and where I truly want to go.  A time to analyze the progress made so far and reflect on what could be improved, what should be repeated, and what ought to be removed.

It has been a time to putter around my house and in my yard, setting my inner self to rights as I slowly progress in setting my surroundings to rights, bringing order and beauty and peace into my space and welcoming a sabbatical from all the obligations and responsibilities that have been filling my day planner.

It has been a time of breathing in the smells of flowers and candles and fresh winds, of sipping slowly on lemonade and wine and lots of cool, refreshing water.  It has seen mornings of sleeping in late and slowly stretching my way awake; and mornings of eyes wide open at sunrise, ready to own the next twelve-hour increment of my life.

It has been a long march of minutes, with permanent roommate away, traveling for work, and me missing him, wishing he was here, thinking of all the things I’d like to talk to him about, making lists of items to discuss when he calls, sensing the emptiness in the space he usually fills beside me, and feeling the void of life without him, even temporarily.

It has been days and hours of connecting with my girls, shopping, taking in a new movie, reading our own books at opposite ends of the couches, building deeper and more meaningfully in our relationships, and having dinners together with conversations about our own individual groups or projects or pursuits.

It has been good, this stillness of summer.

And I feel blessed to be able to indulge in it.  I know there are lots of people who do not have the luxury of taking a three-month hiatus from their daily grind, no matter how much I would wish it for them.  Permanent roommate is one, and I deeply appreciate his willingness to “soldier on,” going to work, providing an income, making the money that pays the bills and feeds our family and allows me to be a stay-at-home mom who revels gratefully in a three-month break to enjoy this stillness of summer.

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