August days keep us at the beach longer than planned and cause us to drive into the hills to find a cold mountain stream and even make biking into the dusk tremendous fun. Summer is at its best with corn on the table for dinner and peaches overflowing the breakfast bowl. August means loud and laughing people, salty and sandy bodies, breaking schedules and disrupting routines to make one big messy vacation that leaves you exhausted and smiling. For as long as I can remember August has centered around family, and thankfully, these last few weeks, that was exactly what this month brought.
Ever since Father’s Day I have been thinking about the standard in which we measure parents. The bar is an interestingly high one if you ask me. There are fictional terms applied to both mother and father and I can’t fathom who could live up to those heights. As much as we recognize ourselves to be individuals, much of our own parenting mimics those who raised us; generational gaffes or successes mirror back and forward endlessly. I always consider myself lucky in that my parents lived a long life, spent many of their days loving me, and shared their passion for art, music and enjoying the outdoors with their children. But beyond those gifts, they peopled my life with more family than one can count, and now that they are both gone, I am extraordinarily grateful to slip into any one of those extended family photos surrounded by cousins. After 15 hug-less months this June gathering felt like a dreamy step into a future impossible to consider pre-vaccine. Surrounding the 96 year old matriarch, who not only endured her confinement but did so with grit and humor, made our time together lakeside pure heaven.
Is there anything more delightful than sailing into Venice, watching as the waterfront slowly takes shape, delightful small boats darting about the harbor and the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica up ahead ringing in your arrival? Seriously, that occasion is a memory I hold dear, as one does the sweet air. Perhaps you also keep a cherished moment in time where everything came together like magic? When the mist rose at dawn and illuminated the mountain ridge? When you spotted a bald eagle soaring overhead? When the Ferris wheel held you and your bestie at the very top just as the summer sun set into a whole sky of orange and pink? We all have those sacred moments lingering right under this same now, don’t we?