I wanted to write something about these long, summer days: how they are suddenly upon us, how they leave me laughing but also desperately trying to catch my breath. Then I did a little digging in my blog archives and realized I’d already written the post I was imagining. No need to reinvent the wheel, then. Summer is easy like that.
In slightly revised form, here is my summer manifesto. Every word just as true as it was one year ago.
Summer days are here: cool in the morning, a little too warm by afternoon, and every window open.
We wake early but find that the sun has already beat us to it. These are the longest days, and they start without us. I sip my morning coffee and make my list. How is it possible to feel so behind at 6:30 in the morning?
Summer to-do lists are like none other:
Pick the snap peas while they’re still tender. Cut the sweet peas before they wilt. Visit the u-pick berry farm. Make freezer jam. Write that magazine story due tomorrow. Carve a dent, at least, in the email inbox. Write that check and mail it. Help the boys catch fireflies.
Summer priorities are topsy-turvy. Ripening strawberries and fat peas are things of urgency, but I’ve forgotten where I left my laptop. Was it two days ago, I last used it? There’s an important professional conversation I need to have, but I’ve missed the phone call twice. The first time, I was at the creek with the kids. The second, I was picking cherries.
An afternoon storm rolls in, the kind of summer storm that is all sound, little fury, and I think Lord, I love summer.
The boys start fighting (again), and I pray, Lord, let me survive the summer.
Summer days are so long, we have more than one second chance.
Here is one, and here is another. We explode in anger. We apologize. I make them hug. One shrugs. One runs away. We laugh. And we do it all again, three or four times. I maybe cry once, and then I tell my kids how I used to fight so terribly with my sisters I made my own mother cry.
Summer is crying mothers, and fighting kids; summer is fat, sweet strawberries, and lightning crashing like a cymbal on your head.
Summer is more, and more, and more.
Summer is magic.
Summer days run fast and hard until evening. Then the summer sun slows, almost stops, and you can hardly tell it’s sinking. Summer evenings taste like forever. I could finish that to-do list if I wanted, but urgency fades in the evening. Why didn’t I realize sooner? These are the longest days, and there is time enough.
Swift, swift times flies, but still there is enough for what matters: porch rockers, bubble wands, strawberries, one last visit to the new tree with a watering can.
The kids watch a movie and stay up too late. You and I walk in the meadow we made when you decided to stop mowing the grass.
There is time enough.
Summer is here. Why don’t we sit a while?
Tell me, I’d love to hear. What is your summer manifesto?
Oh my dear, I always have time for your words! Can’t wait for your next book!
Thank you, Summer! That means so much to hear. xoxo
Always enjoy the images and writing you share:)
“Swift, swift time flies, but there is enough for what matters” – my version: bird song at dawn, dead-heading petunias, sweet corn, smell of cut grass, reading in the hammock, sprinkler time, watching fireflies at dusk.
So looking forward to your new book!
Thank you, Katie! Your words “dead-heading petunias” just brought back a flood of memories. I used to grow window boxes full of only petunias when I had only a small back porch in Chicago. I loved those flowers!
Summer Manifesto here…….
Harvest the wheat….
Sit on the porch……
Fight among the busy for a few lazy, hazy days of summer….
Enjoy the long evenings…the dusk gathering in and a cooling of temps after the intense afternoon heat….watering flowerpots and trimming rosebushes…
Sipping tea and lemonade and Pepsi…….
thankful for air conditioning and swimming……
Reading books and taking farm pictures……..
Living among the sticky and messes and embracing the beauty in it…….
Have a wonderful summer!
Beautiful! I echo every word. Summer is so abundant.
Summertime is eating ripe strawberries, then on to picking blueberries, enjoying watermelon, sweet corn, and vine ripened tomatoes. Early morning reading on the back porch and evenings watching for lightening bugs. Time with family and friends, but most of all sweet refreshment with God’s word and reading hope giving writing like yours!
Your summer sounds so much like mine! It’s the flavors of summer that I love best.
I am mama of a 7,4, and 2 year old. We make a “summertime fun list” of fun things we want to do over summer: go get snow cones, swim in pool, sew little veggies from learn to sew kit… it’s so fun to check things off a fun list or visit it thinking of fun things to do! We are reading chapter by chapter Pilgrims Progress with our two older ones, and I am reading a lot of Jen Wilken or Gloria Furman. Looking for a good fiction book though… any suggestions welcome! I can’t wait for your new book! Praying for a peaceful and rejuvenating summer for you as well.
This, a lovely invitation, Christie. Yes, let’s sit and linger for awhile. All will be well …
a lovely pause, carrying both the deep rest and joy amidst the reality of frustration, sorrow and never-finished work (why is it that the weeds just love love love July?) this is the way to make the most of the time isn’t it? i must confess when i realized that we were down to 4 weeks left, only 4 weeks till the oldest heads back to college, till the middle starts up school and all the meetings and OT, etc.etc.etc. and the youngest begins his last year of middle school. 4 weeks till the world ends, is how my grieving heart was beating. a bit dramitic i know, but there it is. and then this lovely invitation, to pause and drink deep of today, of tomorrow, of the next one.
“Swift, swift times flies, but still there is enough for what matters: porch rockers, bubble wands, strawberries, one last visit to the new tree with a watering can.
There is time enough.”
yes, i echo Linda’s comment above-let’s sit and linger for awhile. All will be well….