Honestly, sometimes it’s just all about summer. I am summer-ravenous. I am summer-extreme. I would spend every day of my life in summer, if I thought it was worth it. If I thought that having no interruptions or breaks to smell Christmas holly and feel the tiny weight of a snowflake on your eyelashes wasn’t worth something too. If it weren’t for gold and amber leaves and feeling my running shoes sink into slick mud, but not caring at all what it is, as long as it isn’t snow or ice. Maybe you can’t have summer without winter, the way you can’t have rainbows without rain. I HATE rain. I love watching these soar overhead:
The other night I was feeling angsty, as one feels when everything is all chaotic and confuddled in the brain, so I took Des to a local food truck and ice cream parlor. We sat with our food under evening sun and clouds, the smells of smoked meat and smoked cigarettes, the sounds of “Acoustic Spotlight creeping over. It felt like summer had arrived. It felt like I had too.
It started happening last spring. Random stomachaches. They weren’t often enough to be concerning to anyone but me, but they happened every two or three weeks like clockwork. Instant, crushing, brief, over. Repeat. I only canceled one photo shoot because of them! As I often do, I Googled it and walked away with Crohn’s Disease, because it’s always Crohn’s Disease when you Google a stomachache. What it was, what it is, is always a reaction to summer. It’s scrawled words on a yearbook that always catch in my heart. We all did it. Another year gone. Another endless summer. You’re standing at the abyss.
Sometimes it seems like everything happens in the summer. It’s not just the small/big changes of letting go of a school year and opening yourself up to the possibility of a whole new change in routine. It doesn’t matter how old you are – it just hits you. I call it Little Earthquakes. I wake up with tremors sometimes. Mild, like stomachaches that only happen every so often. It’s my bodily memory telling me of the passing of another year – the catch in my throat and in my heart. It’s the passing of time, always, which makes me more fragile than most things. It’s all of the births, deaths, and big adventures I’ve known.
– 10 years ago, my “ex” Cassidy called me on my birthday, and sent my cozy, little/big life into an upwards spiral.
– 20 years ago, I had the most life-changing road trip to Canada and discovered a lot about the human spirit. I’m still discovering.
– 30 years ago, actually more, was when I lost my father on a summer day. I’m almost the same age, at the same time, and with two kids. It was two weeks after his birthday, which puts me smack in the middle of my 20 year road trip anniversary.
Am I living or am I dying? Do I only have a few months of life left, like he had? Did he know? I feel like I have more maybe. Like 10, 20, 30, or 100 more years. Logically, I think I’ll keep going. Bodily memory wise, I wonder. Then it will pass.
It’s scrawled words on a yearbook, that don’t tell the whole story. It’s season finales, or worse, series finales. I nearly can’t breathe. It starts in my stomach like a cold freeze and goes up into my lungs. I can’t breathe sometimes, to even try to wrap my head around goodbyes and hellos, and hellos and goodbyes, and just how much we must stuff down sometimes, so as not to scream so loudly we’d never stop. The joy, like the pain, is sometimes contained. And other times, comes screaming up and out – on top of a roller coaster, screeching around corners, out the car window of a summer drive, and in the simple, joyful actions we perform every day. And I may always believe in magic, but boy, do I believe in it more on a summer day.
Maybe all of the summers have been lining up, are lining up, will always be lining up – to take me from year to year, stomachache to relief, relief to stomachache, hello to goodbye, goodbye to hello, darkness to light, light to darkness, rain to rainbow, rainbow to rain, to take me to who I grew up to be, and who I’ll STILL grow up to be. As it changes. As it ages.
Linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s heady topic is “How I grew up to be the one I am now…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.