"Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some people live for their Christmas and Thanksgiving traditions, I suppose. I live for the year round ones. I feared (I always do) that this summer was too short, just about as much as I always fear the winter is too long. Humans. Are we ever pleased?
Always a planner, I had lists of new things to do this summer and I left room for the ordinary and routine as well. The hand that was dealt gave us both but not in the quantity we would have liked (again: just being human and expecting), I suppose: not enough newness and not enough oldness, in the end. Maybe just as much as our time and tired bodies could handle.
Even the mainstays take a new shape or form every year, depending on what changes happen in the local landscape, or how old and decrepit I am becoming to be able to handle them (differently) every year.
Other than getting away to Wyoming and to Snowbird for two weekends, we spent the summer pretty much around our area, just taking in the smells, tastes and trails of the mountains and cities close by. I remember when, living in the South East, my one and only dream was to travel to The Rockies and explore. The time and cash were always limited and I never got to do it when living there. Now, that dream is my backyard, and I cannot ever stop being grateful for everything my surrounds offer.
Every year, I am more and more amazed, surprised, thankful for everything I get to do around here. The “same” yearly things are not really the same – every sunset has different colors in it, and every rainbow a different shape. And every year, my eyes get older, and perceive new shades or stop perceiving the old ones – not sure. All the summer foods taste different every year, depending on how much or how little rain we got that season.
The aspen trees and pines are eternal in their beauty. The rocks are still towering and somber, protecting us, as good soldiers do, from winds, and tougher weather. But the air smells different and the wind feels different on our skins, with every season. I didn’t miss the desert fires this year, truthfully!
There are some things that will be this year’s alone: this will be the year of lazy afternoons of canceled plans, and not-too-hot weather, but hot enough to call it “summer”. It was the first year (after 4 years of living here), when we actually had grass in the backyard. Well, weeds, mostly – but the year we had “green”.
The unusual year of a poor tomato crop, but an equally unusual time of a huge herb and onions crop. Even peppers are better this year. The year of fresh Alaskan salmon grilled in the Payson park – I can still smell it! The year of discovering the peace and serenity of Payson Lakes, and the year we conquered part of the Timpanogos mountain. This will be the summer of my first rodeo, and of my first visit to a Mormon temple.
If this summer taught me one thing, it is, just like the song says: “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy”.
Really. Just step outside your door. There is always a trail waiting, a piece of skin left un-tanned, a tomato stand peeking around the corner, a rose bush needed to be trimmed, a fruity drink waiting to be sipped, a sunset waiting to be watched…
There will also be lots of things we left undone on our summer list. But those are just cocooned possibilities for a later date. No regrets. Just our lives, in the future.
Tired and sighing, the sun is retiring for the season. The sunsets will be gentler and paler from here out, more shy, in the shrinking temperatures of the fall and then winter.
Click on the picture to see a brief journey, in pictures, of our 2014 summertime.