It’s a strange feeling to look outside right now. The grass is browning. Some leaves are actually falling; there’s a carpet of brown leaves lying under the maple tree right outside our kitchen window. If I let myself, I can almost pretend it’s fall, since this is essentially what our yard should look like in late September or early October. But it’s not fall; it’s July. Which makes the view that much more surreal.
I wish it was fall….day after day of 100+ degrees and drought is wearing thin. I discovered advertisers are quite ready to grant my wish: a catalog arrived in the mail recently with a “Christmas preview,” and I admit I looked through each and every page; not actually wanting to buy anything, just wanting to be reminded that it wouldn’t always be miserably hot; that fall and winter were right around the corner.
Stores and advertisers are always happy to help us move on, aren’t they? They spin it as letting us “plan” and “prepare.” My most recent example was trying to buy a lawn chair the day before the Fourth of July….but the lawn and garden section had already turned into the lawn and garden aisle, and employees were unloading school supplies in the empty space left behind. It happened to me last Christmas, too: finally on break, finally ready to find a craft for the kids to do as gifts, and aisle upon aisle of Christmas craziness had turned to just two; with no projects my children had any interest in doing. I’ve tried to explain to my kids that stores don’t carry snow boots in January, or swimsuits in August; but it really does seem a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Right about the time we get settled in to enjoy, when we can finally really get into a season, advertisers take off: on to the next big thing! It’s always the next celebration or season we need to prepare for; it’s always what’s coming up, what’s approaching, what’s next, leaving us no time to enjoy where we are. No room for contentment and gratefulness for the now. No peacefulness in our present.
Our family has less than three weeks until school starts again. We have swimming lessons and vacation days still in front of us. I plan on enjoying–to the best of my “I hate heat” ability–these last few days of summer break. I’m going to sit right in the middle of it, to make sure we do as many summer things as we possibly can, to savor (to use my kids’ favorite word) every last minute of it. I know I will have to take a moment to acknowledge the future and buy school supplies….but outside of that shopping trip, I’m choosing to live in the present. Even if it is presently 103 degrees.