I have let the entire spring and summer go by without posting. I took a hiatus from my work-a-holic self by giving myself permission to let some things go. It has been a slower summer than most, full of swimming, travel, grandchildren, and art.
I am currently in Clarksville Tennessee, the 5th largest city of the state. It is military land here, as Fort Campbell, home of the 101st airborne division, is a mere 10 miles away. You would never know summer is on its way out in this part of the world. The sun shines plenty hot here, the pool temps are in the mid 80's , and thunderstorms pop up out of nowhere. It is also in tornado ally, though I can not speak of this first hand. It is mostly flat, and full of strip malls with shops that come and go. Pawn shops. Porn shops. Fast foods. Drive thrus. There is even a drive thru for cigarettes and beer.
I flew here from NY to help my daughter with her two children as the third, the toddler, is in the hospital following surgery. School starts earlier here, and I am alone during the day save for the cats and dogs. I am without a car, which is OK as I don't feel like I am missing much. It forces me to just be - and I spend my day cleaning, texting friends, making small watercolor paintings, playing games on my phone.
This morning it was hot by 10:30, hot enough to swim, but not the oppressive heat of mid day. A friend of Megan's bought me a pool float, so I blew it up, and headed out for a mini adventure. Ah, the joy of a swim alone. I lay upon the aqua green float, eyes closed, letting the invisible current from the pump take me for a ride around the pool. When did I last give myself the gift of a embryonic float - to go to a meditative state, letting my senses tune into the smell of plastic and moved grass, feel sensations on my skin- a fly, the temperature on my skin changing with the journey of clouds across the sun, listen to dogs barking, large and small. I drifted in the zone between waking and sleeping, lulled by the heat and the buzzing from the sounds of an insect I do not know and lack of good sleep in my own bed.
Apollos's barking snaps me out of this reverie, and I must get out before I get a sunburn.
We still have three more weeks of "summer". When I return home to the Hudson Valley next week it will be cooler than here, the water losing its daytime warmth with the cool nights. The tomatoes are slowing down and the greens revving up for one more blast of generosity from the garden.
2016 was a very good year. I experienced summer - a summer that I remember as a child. Being with my grandchildren has rekindled such memories, and as this summer fades, plans for next summer will begin to brew.
Here's to celebrating every last golden drop!