Monday, September 1, 2014

Sweet Summer Longing

artistic contribution by Zal
So much change in the air. What a cliche. Just returned from one of a remaining handful of long summer walks down this glorious road I have come to call my own. I have walked many a mile on this road over the past eight weeks, in the company of myself, and occasionally, in the company of friends. This road I follow is home to camps, old decrepit bungalows, a beautiful vacation community, a gorgeous golf course replete with rolling hills, babbling brooks, ancient rock walls. A century old home sits on an oversized manicured lawn, with giant flowering bushes, perfectly trimmed evergreens and piles of firewood neatly stacked for the winter. Across the street there are maple trees with tapping marks and a neglected raised garden bed. Further along there are fruit trees, wild flowers in shades of purples, blues, yellows and white, overgrown bushes, weeds and dense forest. This road has hosted my walks, my runs, my thoughts, my breath, my tears, my songs. This road has been an intimate part of my summer. 

I resist this time of year. the rapidly dwindling summer days, the ever approaching autumn. It was 66 degrees this morning. balmy for the end of August. The sun shone brightly and the trees were very still but there was a wind rushing through me. I tried to make sense of it. How the leaves wouldn't rustle, yet I felt the breeze coursing through me, even heard its sounds. I don't need to understand.

It's hard for me to part with summer. It's hard for me to part with every summer, but especially this one. I am so resistant to change, but this has been the summer of so many changes. I've learned a lot about myself. About my beliefs. What I'm capable of. Some things that I didn't want to know. Yet, I'm so grateful for all that. Acknowledging that I have been keeping myself in a box, a box that never really fit. Granted, it was a box of my own creation. My own structure. My own, self-imposed limitations. Discovering that it really didn't work for me was unsettling. This summer was a great big hand, turning my box upside down and shaking everything out of it.

I believed things about myself that were simply not true. I've learned so much about the various meanings of strength, resilience, love. About become softer to get stronger. Surrendering to find a deeper, inner strength. I've broken through boundaries that I had placed for myself. Boundaries that helped me grow and boundaries that held me back.

I don't want this summer to end. I want to bottle its emotion, its scent, its warmth. I want to keep it in my pocket. I want to reach in and squeeze it. 
This summer has brought me peace and love and light and pain and beauty. Resilience and surrender. Many mutually exclusive concepts that came together. So many gifts. An awareness of how blessed I am. How G-d watches over me.

This walk brought me to a state of melancholy and also of peace and joy. An awareness of how the changes I resist facilitate the greatest growth. I have experienced many an introspective walk over the course of the last two months. I aspire to keep these walks in my soul, and tap into them, regardless of the environment, the lights and sirens, the city bustle. It's nourishing to be one with nature, but peaceful and beautiful exist within. 


To peaceful introspection,

Chana


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