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.
From the get-go I took to water. There was no stopping me, and no one around who would. Both my parents were avid swimmers, no, that’s not near close enough, they were water nymphs. If you look carefully at the photo below, you can see a head bobbing way out. probably their’s. Those heads called to me so I did whatever needed to propel myself out beyond the buoys. Water baby to water girl to water lover to nymph I haven’t stopped my love of swimming. As I move closer to my big birthday this weekend, my love of swimming is the best metaphor I have to head straight into the unknown waters.
For whatever you lose
(like a you or a me)
It’s always ourselves we find
in the sea.
As summer winds down and school days quickly approach, I find vacationing with family to be a most cherished memory, and can spend hours looking over photos or recalling those days past. So, if you’ll indulge me a flashback post again, this one highlights a late August week in 2013! Enjoy…
Here on the Northeast coast the humidity level is dropping as fast as the overnight temperature. But before the memory of summer fades away, I will savor those vacation days of August, when nothing stopped our early morning swims or twilight strolls around the lake.
Perhaps even more importantly than those delicious moments was the gathering of extended family, from our Grand Matriarch calling for peace in the world to our sweet teen on the edge of high school, and all the rest of us in-between with Big Birthdays looming, careers starting or retirement celebrated, all of us facing change. But here, with the backdrop of a grand hotel, we stopped for a brief interlude, and took the time to laugh at ourselves and with each other.