The scent of campfire smoke curls through my hair, perfuming my pillow with the scent of wood and cool nights, staring up at the stars. I fade slowly into sleep, rosy cheeks warming, mind full of moonlight.
This week I’ve wandered, waded into rivers, letting cool waters stream over my skin, balancing on slick rocks. The sun, strong and penetrating, wrapped itself around my shoulders.
I’ve walked and walked and laughed, indulging in fresh fish tacos, handmade cornmeal tortillas, rich, spicy salsa. I’ve eaten creamy gelato, savoring each tiny spoonful.
I’ve listened to local, live music, the sounds of ancient blues covers, vintage songs drifting down streets filled with crowds. I’ve eaten buttery, sweet corn on the cob in the street.
I’ve camped amidst leafy trees, near warm sand and rocky river banks. I have stretched out in the sun as clouds drifted by, carrying rain away from our perch below the willows.
I’ve wandered. I’ve let the days move easy.
Summer’s end brings a new kind of blue to the sky. It brings squash and corn, fresh farm vegetables. It brings cool nights and sharp breezes, and days that slide into stark mid summer heat; waving wheat fields topped with grand, sweeping clouds.
Summer’s end brings dusky nights around the fire, crackling and coaxing us in towards warmth. It brings friends and laughter, and attempts to make plans for the inevitable chill of fall, hanging on to that ambition of this warm season, before autumn whisks it away sending us indoors to curl up around cups of chai, while the snow begins to fall.
Here I am, at summer’s end, reflecting and feeling some sort of contentment. Yes, something’s missing from my world, there’s a hollow spot in my heart, but I must trek on. Perhaps my life has been shaped by loss, and this summer will always be remembered with a stain that spread across it at the start. But, now, at the end, that crimson mark has faded in the sun, grown lighter each moment and has become something I can walk past each day without stopping to stare.
I feel lucky, I’ve covered so much ground this summer, and I’ve soothed my soul at every turn, in every way I could find. I’ll hold fast to warm days of wonderful heat, to days of feet in the grass. I’ll wrap my fingers around each passing moment of garden dirt under my fingernails, the sweet taste of fresh strawberries, empty bottles of wine, sharp cheeses and naps in sunbeams.
Let’s bottle this up and take it with us, bits and pieces in our pockets to scatter about in the wind when the cold becomes too deep.
Oh, lovely summer, beautiful but all too short autumn approaches. Let’s carry this contentment into all of our days, finding summer somewhere.
“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” -Henry David Thoreau