We are here, in the heart of summer. Hot air, dry wind, pounding sun. Some hours are slathered with thick, sweet love, and some moments are meant for falling onto cool sheets, curtains drawn, deep breaths taken. Prayers whispered for a lifeline, or for more of this slow, beautiful time. I forget about this heart of summer until I'm living it. Forget how hot it gets and how tough it can be on our emotions. And even though some moments in each day with all of us home together feels like being blown away by dragon's fiery breath, we push on.
I still refuse to open fall school packets, ink official dates in my planner. You see, I was standing at my kitchen sink yesterday late in the day. Splatters of coffee custard I had made into brilliantly churned ice cream dotted my shirt. Under my nails, dark brown shards of pounded espresso beans and in the soft web of my palm, between my thumb and pointer finger, I noticed a grouping of fine splinters, dainty reminders of my time spent in the garden earlier in the day. And then I poured a glass of zinfandel and took up residence on the front porch. My children and the neighbor kiddos were all playing. Sully ran by with a mask and sword. Theo and two friends were crouched down in between tall grasses, secret spy agents. I looked down and saw a heaping mound of cherry pits off the side of the porch and wisps of brown stems everywhere. I had just brought those cherries home from the store earlier in the day, washed and drying on the counter. I went back inside to investigate and found the bowl depleted. The handful that was left were put in my favorite small bowl and tucked away in the far back of the fridge. Selfishly for me because I like them ice cold. Tomorrow. I parked myself back on the porch with a refilled glass. Sully came and sat next to me. I silently marveled at him and how beautiful I think he is. "You know you're a very beautiful person, Sul." He nodded yes and took a minute to gather up some kind of thought, some words. Then he looked back at me with his Sully smile and said, "You're beautiful when you look at your sunflowers."
We are here, in the heart of summer. The heart of life.