It’s hot. But you will not hear me complain about the heat this summer.
Last summer was tainted for me. I was dealing with a big problem that clouded everything else. In fact, this problem, one that is almost entirely out of my control, has been on my table for the last year. It was made worse because the people who were in a position to help, didn’t. However, this summer, so far, it’s a bit better.
Two years ago in the summer I was dealing with a different kind of problem. It too is not now the issue it was then.
I don’t know if either of these two problems I cryptically describe, will get bad again. It’s certainly possible. But right now, in this summer of 2016, I am grateful for the improvements because they have freed me to enjoy the season I love best. And when I say enjoy, I mean to feel like I’m paying attention. That I’m not missing my favorite time of year and everything I treasure about it. Because when I’m preoccupied with a trouble, far too much of my attention, my capacity for focus, even on good things, is siphoned off.
There’s something else at work here. Earlier this year I wrote of how a man I knew killed himself. It’s now 4 months since he died. I continue to struggle to believe he really is gone and never coming back, yet he’s become a reference point for me. I think about how he’s not here and not getting to do all the fun things summer offers. He will not have an ice cream cone. He will not listen to an outdoor concert. He will not take a walk after dinner on a balmy evening. He will not ride his bike or play tennis. He will not sit at an outdoor café and have a cold drink with friends. He will not go to an afternoon matinee at the theater to escape the heat. He will do nothing. He will not do anything ever again.
By contrast, I am here. These summer pleasures are mine for the taking. It is bittersweet to feel this way.
I wrote a little something this week:
Hair blowing back untethered
Earrings jangling in the breeze
Gravel flies beneath my tires
Peddling like I’m ten again
I am alive.