Savoring What’s Left
August 10, 2011
Every season has its feeling. For me, summertime is the definition of relaxation. Warm nights spent barbequing, and lazy mornings sleeping in, waking up to the whirring of the fan. I know many moms count the days until school begins and the weather cools, but this week I’m completely caught up in the notion of savoring what’s left of summer. No schedules, no official bedtimes, no busy or hurried pace, just days that melt into one another.
Last weekend we went out touring some wineries along Olivet Road in the Russian River Valley, me with my Nikon, my hub with his palate, tasting, sampling and photographing for our new venture, a regional book on living in wine country. We stopped at DeLoach Vineyards and while my mister sipped Pinot Noirs, I snapped pictures of the grounds and the kids played in the little brook out among the gardens.
I watched them engaging with nature, sending their flip flops downstream like little boats tripping along the rocks only to repeat it over and over again. I observed their fascination with the cool water as it ran over their feet, and their ability to completely live in the moment with no thoughts of the past or worries about the future.
Little kids are experts at living in the moment. They embrace the seasons, the days, and the minutes wholeheartedly with no concern for anything other than the pursuit of adventure and play. There are lessons to be learned there.
On the way home, my daughter noticed a blackberry patch with berries ripe and ready to pick. She reminded me it was blackberry season, and time to stop and pick them. Not later, right now. If she hadn’t been in the car, reminding me of the obvious, I probably wouldn’t have noticed or stopped to savor them. So we did.
August is that crazy in between month that possesses both the lingering charms of summertime and the enticing pull of autumn. I’m still clinging to summer in that same way as I did in that last hug when we sent our oldest off to college. A few days ago, I created this printable art to remind us of some of the special things that make summer so great.
I was watching again one of my favorite authors Doris Kearns Goodwin give a talk about learning from past Presidents on TED, a site I visit from time to time to listen to favorite creative people speak – definitely worth your click. What struck me in this particular talk is the part where Goodwin speaks of the regrets of this particular workaholic President, his inability to feel real relationships with his family in the last moments of his life, and her firsthand knowledge of his intense sadness that occurred from years of concentration solely on work and individual success.
Finding a form of play and the time to relax is really the key to achieving balance and finding renewed inspiration. This week I’m spending less time with the online community in order that I may spend more time with my family, thanks to that reminder from my children to live in the moment.
Seasons change quickly, too quickly sometimes. This week, I needed to step away from intense hours of blogging and social media, to breathe deeply, to go outside and explore our world with my favorite little people. That’s what I’m up to right now.