By: Sandy Churchill
August has turned the page and students from pre-school to college are boarding yellow buses, toting backpacks, and gathering for sports practices in the shift to fall schedules. Thankfully, Labor Day weekend provided summer bliss of sunshine, time with family and friends, and excursions to sand and sea. My oldest daughter and her husband are spending the last few days of their honeymoon in Germany, my other son-in-law headed to the woods for a camping weekend, and the rest of us spent some glorious time at Cape Cod. What do these things have in common? Vacation—specifically, summer vacation—a chance to breathe and soak up the sun and time to relax, enjoy one another, and slow down the pace a bit from the school year and work routines of the daily grind.
I love fall—every jewel of an autumn leaf as it turns crimson, orange, gold or plum—the cool breezes that stir energy in the air, the crisp starry nights and scent of hope that fills each morning. But “to everything is a season,” right? So this mom is not yet ready for fall—not quite yet.
We had a whirlwind summer at our house. I taught a couple weeks of summer camp, my eighth grader tackled his first online college course (yes, college, he’s very ambitious), my kitchen was torn apart to refurbish falling-apart cabinets, we had visiting relatives from out of state, and we helped my oldest daughter plan her wedding. Yikes! The weeks flew for sure!
So we are not ready for fall yet. This is truly not a cliché clinging desperately to “hold on” to sun and fun in a pitiful, immature way—but rather to embrace the gifts of each season in a sense of gratitude so that we may usher in the new season with a content spirit and a ready heart. Savoring is the word of the week at our house. We are embracing the still-long days before sunset shifts to the work-commute hours, including family walks, campfires, cookouts, and reading outdoors. Sipping coffee outside casts a whole new mood to the day, before work and deadlines and errands send me into crazy mode and all the residual stress that seems to have more power than it should.
How could you hold onto summer just a bit longer? A drive to the beach? A picnic in the park? Eating breakfast or dinner outdoors—just because? One friend is planning a September Whale Watch and an old-fashioned lobster bake. My son is a fan of picnics, hikes, and campfires. My mom is launching a special birthday party for my dad, outdoors under tents. Sure, I’m just as excited about cozy sweaters and Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin spice coffee as the next gal. But just for a few more days (or weeks lol), this mom is savoring the lingering rays of summer and the pause in our daily routines, before the frost takes hold and we shift to the “dig-in” modes of fall and winter.