Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summertime, Summertime

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.
~ L. M. Montgomgery

Summer is here, summer is here, summer is here! For me, there is no real dilineation of the season except for the letting-out of school, the thick mist low on the bottomlands, the emergence of green corn, and the appearance of the lightening bugs. I still feel summer like a child does, like a glow low in my abdomen, spread out to the edges of my appendages, sparking at the fingertips and bare feet. It is, as it always was, a gorgeous, magic, infinite time of year, no matter how old I get or how my life changes.

This past week I abandoned the Internet for a week at my family's lakehouse in the South Carolina foothills. This, and my willful, lazy embrace of summer, are the reasons for my not writing in a while, here. I don't have a good excuse.

The lakehouse is a special place for me, with a honing beacon that pings and lights no matter how long or far away I go from it. I could fill a book with the memories made there. But this past week, I was there because my husband was out of town on business, my daughter is out of preschool, and I'd just finished the last packet of my first grad school semester--30 pages plus 20 more for my summer residency mailed off--and for the first time in several months, my reading material was my own.

I packed an extra bag full of novels, biographies, new magazines, and DVDs, certain I'd wake early and stay up late, just to soak it all in. I took my laptop, thinking I'd be so inspired by sunrise over the lake and blue mountains that I'd be up every morning long before anyone else, typing away as I used to there as a teenager, so easily inspired. 

My soon-to-be three year-old, whom I was solo-parenting for the week, obviously didn't get the memo that Mama was going to be reading. And writing. She woke every night between 3 and 5 a.m., and only took a nap on the first and last day we were there. I spent days chasing her up and down steps, pushing her on the swing her Grandaddy installed at his Tiki Bar, just for her, and funneling her away from the edge of the dock. It also rained for three days straight. At the end of the week I looked about ten years older, and not tan. So not tan.

But still, it was a good week away from my house, my desk, my work worries. Sometimes you simply have to physically remove yourself from those things to disconnect. And, I had good friends visit, time with them and their kids, time--even if only snippets of it--to talk, to share, to laugh, to simply be. And this is priceless.

Photo credit: www.runwildadventures.com
Navigating motherhood alongside being a writer (and now, again a student) has been nothing but a challenge: an obstacle course like one of those mud runs, where you get to leap over fire and scale slippery walls and climb under barbed wire. You know the ones: where you come up utterly exhausted, your clothes trashed, with muck in your mouth and in your nose but a huge grin on your face.  Yep: motherhood is like this.

Thank God I like to get muddy.

Since it is summer, and the ferns are green in the woods, the crickets sounding their thrum at night, I vow to soak it in. To breathe. To go barefoot, eat a popsicle, ride a bike, and get dirty. I may be doing all these things with an almost three year-old in tow, and on very little sleep, but they'll happen. For it is summer (my, what a word!), and it doesn't get much better than this.  


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