August Paradox

You know  it’s August when you find little spiders in your bed and just brush them out so they can have a nice day too. Or when a live bird is found swooping around your kitchen at 2am and you simply escort it out with a little arm waving, not even stopping to wonder how it got there.  It’s live-and-let-live time you figure. Or maybe you’re just too serene to stress anymore.

That’s not how you feel in July when you’re still coming down from the high-wire act of the school year. Or June after so many weddings and graduation bashes you were practically living in the greeting card aisle. But it’s how you feel now, pretty much.

Anyway it’s how I feel. Over the last three months I’ve been fizzy with busy-ness and that whole time all I could think was “August! Just get me to August, Lord!”

The day before August began, I drove 300 miles in one day to bring David’s elderly uncle up north to the place he loves best: the New Hampshire Lakes Region where we have a cottage. He won’t stay overnight there – he’s 90 with bad arthritis – so we make it a day trip always. And this particular night after bringing him home, I had to turn right around and go right back to our other guests –  as soon as I got my phone fixed, that is. I dropped him at his apartment at 9:35pm and was at the Verizon store a full seven minutes before it closed at 10:00.

“My phone is dying!” I cried to the young tech who placed it on the little diagnosing gizmo.

“Actually,” he said cheerfully, “this phone is dead! And we’re closing anyway. Come back tomorrow.”

But tomorrow I would be back up north for a week! And without a phone? For seven whole days? Me?

Yup. I drove back north and the next day the sun rose same as always and by 1pm when it had begun its slow cartwheel into the west, half the household was napping. I took paper and pencil and headed down to the dock to begin making the grocery list down on the dock– where I ended up falling  dead asleep stretched out on its sun-warmed boards and did not wake for two whole hours. Even when little ones came swimming with their momma. Even when they stepped on me by mistake a few times and splashed me while jumping in the water.

Then four hours later, I climbed into bed and slept for 12 more hours, and when I woke it seemed like May again, with the summer all before me and there, people, lies the sad realization we come to every August: namely that it’s only right near the end of this delicious abundant-life Summer that it comes to seem most eternal.