The summer is winding down. I can feel it in the air and see it in the slanting of the sun’s rays across the kitchen floor. I feel the stirrings in my heart for rhythm and routine. This summer has been a whirlwind, exactly what a summer should be: too many late nights, friends and family, dirty kids being tucked into bed without washing up, guitars around bonfires, camping in the tent, hikes, swims, s’mores.
Our stay on John’s Island for the family reunion was perfect. It was the first time we had all been together at my grandparents cabin as adults. We had so much laughter. We watched the bald eagle soar over our heads and listened to the seals at night, we spotted the orcas and tried oh so hard to spot even one jumper; we were too early for the salmon, though. We chopped and stacked lots of wood and painted sealant on the captain’s room upstairs. It felt good to do some upkeep on a place we love so dearly. I think my favorite part might have been watching my children with their cousins, so many grimy little hands and feet. Those kids played hard all day, everyday in the same magical places I did when I was their age. We are so blessed to have this legacy, to be a part of this family.
The first weekend back we celebrated Ayden’s 7th birthday. I still have a hard time telling people he’s seven… He began soccer last week and will be playing on the same team with two of his buddies. We’re all pretty sure it’s gonna be awesome. His face simply beamed through the entire practice. In September he’ll start first grade along with Willow. Homeschooling is a whole other story… but I think it’s going to be better this year.
The second weekend I was shocked by the events in Charlottesville. I was shocked by the hatred. It is the only word that I have been able to stick on the response I felt. It seemed like I spent the weekend walking around in a fog, listening to the news, refusing to believe but being forced to understand that the hatred is real, palpable. On Sunday evening after dinner we received news that a dear friend of ours had passed away suddenly. My heart breaks for his family, his legacy. He was such a gentle, strengthening friend. The light for me throughout the weekend was welcomed into the world as a promise and a hope: little Sojourn James is the seventh cousin to join our family. My sister and her lovely family are doing well. So thankful.
With the cooler temperatures we have begun cleaning up the grounds around the house a bit. There were three trips to the dump over the weekend as we clear away piles of rusty metal and old barbed wire. We burned leaves and brush and tilled up the winter garden bed; my little broccoli and cabbage seedlings are doing well and the first round of carrots are growing in the garden. We have family coming for the last hurrah of summer, Labor Day Weekend.