Summer days change pace so much and I find myself already looking forward to the regularity of autumn's schedule. Never mind that it's at least two months away. However, I wouldn't trade this time for that.
One week is full of reaching out into the community, of seeing familiar faces of children who live in emotional and physical poverty, and seeing smiles spread across those same faces at the appearance of The Church who has come to play bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and crafts with them. A pouring-out kind of week but also a being-filled kind of week.
Then another week is altogether different, with bits of family togetherness that help balance out little girl hearts who miss their daddy on those ministry-laden weeks. I so appreciate the way my husband seeks balance in this, the way he spends time planning and making memories with us in special ways. We recently visited Mount Rainier and I must ask, is there anywhere that can compare to the glory of the mountains? The pristine subalpine meadows rich with wildflowers that creep right up to the glaciers, the glaciers that look so close that I can surely reach out and touch the blue ice. There are butterflies floating all around, and deer so near we can see their flanks quiver in anxiety for us to move on down the path. A family of hoary marmots played on the rocks nearby as we walked, and who knew that something with such an unflattering name could be so adorable? I am drawn in again by the splendor and majesty and clarity and explosion of color. The life in this place is so fleeting, the season for growth so short, but if not for the long seasons of cold and ice, the verdant beauty would be diminished. There is a heart lesson for me in this.
Then at home, we move swiftly through each day, wondering when the sun goes down why so much is left undone that needed doing, but then remembering that it is better to stop and splash with the children in the pool, or guide that little hand with its needle up and down through the cloth while her eyes are alight with excitement, or flop onto the bed in the middle of it all and read a story to that one in need of a few minutes with Mommy. The moments of stopping are more than stopping; they are moments of beginning and sustaining.
The squash is being eaten by squash bugs. The strawberries are being eaten by strawberry bugs. My raspberries have finished their first round (oh I miss them already!). The peas never did grow well and will be pulled in favor of a planting of kale or some other fall crop (what's your favorite fall crop to plant?). The basil is exploding and I can imagine for a few minutes that instead of a weed-infested garden of the most basic vegetables, I am digging in an exotic plot of land with figs and basil and olives. Just that lingering fragrance of basil. We harvested our first ripe tomato today and celebrated promptly with a lunch of Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwiches. Lyddie expressed my feelings precisely by declaring with alacrity, "OH this is SO delicious!"