5 Minute Friday – Where I write for five minutes on Friday & link up with Lisa Jo Baker!!
My favorite season is summer. I am a summer girl. Born in the summer, it is the season of my heart. I like the freedom. I like the heat, even the humidity. I like lightning bugs, croaking frogs, and chirping crickets. And gardens with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. And fireworks. And swimming. In the summer, we go on vacation to the beach. And I stand on the shore while our kids build sandcastles and, there, I find myself. And we take trips to Disney World. And immerse ourselves in magic and fun and castles and fairy tales. Our best memories, our most fun memories, are found in the season of summer. The days are longer. The nights are sultry. There is more family time in the summer. There is more me time in the summer. Summer is just more. Summer is my favorite season. Summer is my mountain, and I want it to last and last and last.
Last summer, it was sunny and hot. And we swam with cousins and grilled steak and caught lightning bugs in the endless days and nights.
This summer, it is rainy and cool.
Last summer, we went to the beach. And collected seashells and ate good seafood and built sandcastles in the salty breeze.
This summer, we stayed home.
Last summer, we grew tomatoes.
This summer, the rain drowned my petunias.
Last summer, my beach bag stayed packed and ready to go.
This summer, I have yet to hold my nose, close my eyes, and jump into a pool.
Last summer, we celebrated the end of the season with a trip to Disney World. And said hi to princesses and ate Mickey bars and skipped happily down Main Street.
This summer, we are simply changing from summer to fall.
“I have learned in whatsoever state I am to be… content.”
Last summer, it was just a verse I knew. I was busily carefree, laughing in the sun, dancing on the wild mountain of a perfect summer.
This summer, it is a chant in my soul. I am carefully still, watching the rain fall, rocking in the tame valley of a quiet summer.
Comparison is the thief of joy… I struggle to remember it as I try to find my contentment.
Even in our favorite seasons, there are valleys and mountains. Every summer ends, even this summer, and I’ve been afraid, been worried, that we missed something, somewhere, stuck in a valley instead of rollicking on a mountain.
From season to season, from year to year… time changes things and circumstances. Loved ones leave us too soon. Work schedules change. “To Do” lists get burdensome. Our kids grow up while we grow older. Sometimes, you miss the beach. And you don’t get any fireworks. Sunny days turn stormy, then sunny, then stormy, and then sunny again.
Nothing lasts forever, they say.
We can’t stay in last summer. We can’t stay in yesterday. We can’t even stay in the last minute.
But, when you’re standing on the mountain, it’s hard to think about the valley. And when you’re standing in the valley, it’s hard to remember the mountain.
There is no last, only this.
This moment. This day. This summer.
I stand in the summer rain and let it fall all around me. Cool and gentle… like a lullaby. Like sweet tears, it cascades softly. And I lift up my head and smile.
At last, during summer’s last song, I find it and realize it’s been there with me all along.
I found it during a cool evening on our back deck, listening to the cricket’s song while we roasted marshmallows together… I found it by a lake during a Father’s Day cookout in June… I found it one late hot afternoon, wildly cheering for our older son and daughter on their swim team… I found it during July birthday lunches with grandparents… I found it on a Saturday as we raced around the house, searching for items for a Rainy Day Scavenger Hunt… I found it while digging for dinosaurs in a museum… I found it in our den on a stormy night playing UNO, the sound of our children’s laughter louder than the summer’s thunder outside… I found it on a Sunday morning in August when I saw our 4 year old throw up his little hands in praise during a worship song… I found it one night while lying in my husband’s arms, the quiet sanctuary of our home surrounding us as the ceiling fan went round and round, cooling the warm night air.
There is still joy.
In this season of this summer, yes, there is joy.
Maybe not a wild, carefree joy like last time, but a quiet, reflective joy of this time. A joy that, through every season, through every change, lasts and lasts and lasts…
There is love. There is home. There is grace. There is family. There is still God, who always, always, oversees and guides through all the mountains and valleys of our seasons.
Some things last.