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At Summer's End

Cedarville University
The Cedarville University Clock, August 2015

The last two weeks of August and the first two weeks of September are, collectively, my favorite time of the year. This season reminds me of the excitement of entering a new year at college: the anticipation of reunions, an eagerness to learn and adjust to new classes, and the freedom of adulthood. I met my husband during the first week of my first year at Cedarville, and each August thereafter was a sweet time of reunion with him and my friends after spending the summer spread apart across the country.

My time at Cedarville also constituted a reunion of another sort: it was the first time since childhood that I was able to live again among hayfields and forests, country roads and autumn leaves. My heart had yearned desperately for over a decade to return to life in the North; my first semester at college was the beginning of my return 'home.' While I enjoy the nostalgia of August more than anything, I also appreciate the weather of the season. The zephyrs, the long shadows, the cool grass, and the scent of bonfires and damp earth: no other season can bring such immediate calm to my soul. This time of year is also a reminder of how brief summer truly is. As a parent of young children, this reminder is especially poignant: while I currently have the privilege of being home with my kids daily, year-round, they only have a few years of pure childhood remaining before school begins. Soon enough, we won't be able to go to the park whenever we please, or play all day with toys. Their schedule will someday transition, abruptly, from revolving around naps and trains to revolving around schoolwork and chores. It hurts my heart to dwell on this fact, but it remains true all the same. Therefore, regardless of the season, I want to make every day matter. I fail more often than I'd like to admit, and some days I would love nothing more than to hand them off to my husband or family so I can nap. But soon enough, our "eternal summer" is going to end, and I want to be able to look back on this time knowing that I did everything I could to make their early years as magical and beautiful as possible.

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