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Still another week or two of summer color before the gladiola blossoms fade.

Gathering armloads of zucchini and sugar snap peas from our suddenly over-abundant garden, hopping on my bicycle (with shorts on!) for a fast bike ride to the beach and back,  hanging the laundry on the line where they actually get dry… it seemed like it would never get here this year, but the pleasures of summer have kicked in. Now I find myself guiltily grabbing the hose to water the dry soil in the potted gladiolas (gladioli?) so we can enjoy the blast of color of a few more days…and maybe hold on to the feeling of summer even as the light lingers just a little less each evening.

Yes, I know it’s not quite August yet, but Lammas is the day after tomorrow and that day (halfway between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox, a pagan “cross-quarter” day) always signifies the waning of summer to me.

Rosie leaves in just over a month and this place turns into an empty nest again. Where did the last 2 1/2 months go?

Just one of the brush piles from the midsummer garden cleanup.

We spent seven hours in the yard and garden yesterday, clearing out the overgrown plant matter,cleaning up, and replanting. Spring’s bright blossoms have long ago faded, leaving withered stalks in their wake. Great as it felt to spend that much time with the plants, raking up those piles of spent brush gave a feeling of summer fading. Just after the Equinox I face a big milestone birthday, bringing home the fact that I am firmly planted on the downslope walk of this particular lifetime.

So, a touch of melancholy with the all too rapid passing of the seasons. But it’s accompanied by reinvigorated inspiration to make the most of every moment. At the same time, I’m still trying to figure out what that really means. More parties? Good times? More time outside? Adventure? Making my mark in the world once and for all?

Maybe it’s simply living with passion.

I read recently this pearl of wisdom (and I’m paraphrasing), “You are exactly where you want to be right now in this moment, if you didn’t want it you wouldn’t be here.”

How could that be? I wondered. I don’t think I really “want” to be sitting here at this computer working on various projects and trying to figure out how to prioritize my time. I’d rather be outside, at the river, somewhere exotic learning to scuba dive, sitting at a cafe in Chiang Mai chatting with new friends, or writing a novel – instead of crafting copy for a web site or reading email.

But, there I was (and here I am) so this represents part of where I want to be too. The trick is, I realized (and must constantly remind myself), is being happy with this present experience. To be here living it, instead of thinking of where else I could/should be. Not exactly an original revelation, I know, but one that I need constant reminding of.

And maybe there’s another trick: gratitude. And a third: balance.

With that in mind, as I toil away on the computer on these glorious summer afternoons (when we’ve been enjoying rare Humboldt coastal warm sunshine almost every day) my goal is to take hourly breaks outside with the roses and sunflowers. To embrace the interruptions from my family with gratitude that they are close by and I have the freedom to spend time with them. It’s such a gift to be able to enjoy the company of both my daughters this summer.

My resolve is to focus and be creative with the time spent at the keyboard, and find my balance between indoors and outdoors, between being internally focused on my creative process and projects and externally oriented to the lure of family and friends.

All this sounds so lofty and well-organized. Of course it’s the graceful execution of such balanced intentions that continues to challenge me. The truth is, I enjoy it all in proper doses. The stickler is I get caught up in wondering if I should be doing one instead of the other.

So, as summer (and life) continue to slip on, I’m making a commitment to relax into each moment. To be here now, to use the words of someone wiser than I.

If you catch me forgetting, call me out!

And now – time to step outside and water the garden.

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