The gardens are overgrown and the lawn is monstrous. Although I've been keeping up as best as I can, the weeds are winning. I'm covered from head to toe in freckles, even though I use a SPF 70 sunscreen and wear a floppy hat when I'm out in the yard. I've not dipped my toes in the lake once.
And still, summer does its best to keep the heat on, rolling out scorching weather each day. And I do my best to keep the house full of groceries and clean towels for the necies living with me until school begins again. I am exhausted. And I am happy.
I grin at the blue jays who fly by with peanuts in their beaks - gifts from the neighbours. I watch as the squash and sunflowers seem to double in size daily. I glance at the zucchini sitting on the counter, waiting to be shredded and transformed into muffins or cake, and I say..."perhaps tomorrow."
I could fill up every spare moment and still not strike off the entire "to-do list" but I still take friends to catch a bus, make muffins for the neighbours, and find brief moments to have a nap. I even took an entire afternoon off on Sunday to sit in the shade and read a book and drink daiquiris with my best friend. It's rather amazing how good that felt - to just sit for a while.
The other day I caught myself saying "...in the Fall, when things slow down..." and I laughed, because I seem to say that every season about the next - and it's never true. Things don't slow down. The list never ends. And that's okay. It's about realizing that some things on the list are not so important - or, not more important. Not more important than watching the jays. Not more important that taking some time to read or nap, or bake things you'll never eat because you just keep passing the muffins down the road.
I'd like to spend some time in the lake. I'd like to drive through the valley - north to the farmland and the cheese factories, or south through the orchards and vineyards. I'd like to spend long afternoons in the shade, devouring books. But today, carrot cupcakes call. And checking in on a friend's mum. And office work. And tonight I have a date with the lawn mower, when the sun heads lower into the west.
The spirits are calling too. It's time to head back to the cemetary to see my grandparents. The flowers I took not long ago will be withered. The river that I spend so much of the year walking beside and have completely abandoned these last fiercely hot weeks, is showing up in my dreams and even in my waking hours, speaking to me of the geese leaving it for more southern waterways, and of the tansy that is running rampant down the sides of it like a long yellow scarf. Summer energies are beginning to lose their hold, and others are now slipping through.
Summer is not done for yet. I'll continue to harvest and mow, clean and bake, and still find little moments to partake in this delicious season. There is time.