This summer hasn’t been about cooking, about food. It’s been about letting go, growing up, blooming, branching out. Food has certainly had its role- in Maine, and Toronto, and at home. The garden is producing. We are eating well and often, but my truest and most constant focus hasn’t been anywhere near the kitchen.
This is the summer of watching, of closely observing. This is the summer of sneaking my iPhone over the back of the couch to snap a picture of my sleeping son and his sleeping cat, all stretched out and blissed out together on a warm afternoon. This is the summer of leaning my head back on the rough blue canvas of the porch swing, closing my eyes as a gentle wave of sound surrounds me, lifts me, as a dozen friends softly sing the precious verses of “Amazing Grace.”.
This is the summer of standing still in the moments. Of stopping do-ing, and instead fully be-ing. This is the time of helplessly noting how crazy fast the moments zoom by, and trying to hold onto them by unclenching my hands and relaxing my shoulders and breathing deeply into my belly.
This is the summer I’ve left gatherings and dinners and meetings early because my 18-year-old son is home, and he isn’t going to be home much longer. As the leaves begin to fall, he heads off into his life, a freshman in college, a man, entering the world, a world new, a world needing him and what he has to give.
This is the summer tears have caught me unaware, so often. And so often, a weak and watery smile of blazing pride attends those tears.
This is the last summer of being a full-time mother, and every moment is so precious and golden and fleeting.
That time, on the porch, singing “Amazing Grace”, with my husband and his whiskey-rasping-blues-by-the-bayou voice leading the way, I looked to my right, and my beautiful daughter, newly 21 and so fiercely independent, was sitting in the golden porch light and the warm breeze and smiling. I looked to my left, and my wonderful son was smiling, too, and I begged the powers-that-be that I could imprint this moment, forever, forever, into my heart and soul and cells. Nearly the eve of my 46th birthday, it was, and I knew not a single gift I was given would surpass that moment. Never would I feel more gratitude for the beauty and blessings in my life. I knew then, for a certainty, that much that is good and joyous lies ahead, but, in that moment, everything was enough, and so much. Riches heaped upon riches.
This is the summer of living life and love to the fullest, of creating meals for loved ones and not taking the time to take pictures, of sharing many loaves of bread and spoonfuls of ice cream and being fed most of all by the simple knowledge that nothing matters more than love. What matters most is the hearts that meet at the table, the smiles easily given and received, the deep-breathing and wall-tumbling and gut-deep kind of love that blesses us so deeply because we are allowed to know it, to share it.
A sweet friend took me out for a birthday lunch today, and her sister came too, and her sister said, “this is a high-definition kind of day” and I knew exactly what she meant. The blue sky, the white clouds, that unique summer light that tinges and backlights everything. The breeze that caresses, the way we see things new that have been there always.
This is the summer of 2013. I haven’t had time to write, but I’ve had so much time to live.
May all who read this know exactly what I mean. May all of you be fed by far more than food. May love surround and uplift you, and give light and color to your days. May the joy in the flying moments become who you are, always, even when the walls narrow in and the light dims and things seem to have lost their color. May you have thousands of “porch moments” and may their light and life fill your life and heart to the fullest with grace and joy. This summer and always. Forever and always.