Well here we are, creeping further into the year. Summer burns on but suddenly I can see Autumn on the horizon. I’m not quite ready to to give up the excitement of weekend adventures playing outdoors but I’m starting to look forward to the cooler months. Luckily, with California’s varied climate zones we’ll be able to keep exploring into the winter. I am looking forward to visiting the deserts that are too warm for the summer months. But I’m getting ahead of myself here; it is still August and there are many sweltering days ahead.
There have been a few, brief, glorious rainy and overcast days here in Los Angeles. Having spent most of my summers on the East Coast, it’s something I miss greatly. I remember one year, leaving the Newark airport on a bus, the grey skies unleashed a wondrous downpour and I thought to myself I am home. I remember lightning storms and fat rain drops falling on me. These are some of my favorite summer memories. Yet here, the drought continues, forests turning into wildfire tinder and lakes drying up completely.
It was always so hard to return home at the end of summer, sometime in August, when the valley would still be devastatingly hot and all my friends still in the East. I have so many memories of plane rides where I couldn’t breath, the air just evaporating from lungs as I held back sobs. The loneliness would form a pit in my stomach that I would carry for weeks. I would try to make grand plans to keep myself occupied: this year I would pour myself into school work or another I might try to see every movie possible. Mostly I would just end up listening to sad songs on repeat until I felt nothing as teenagers are wont to do.
We visited New York this weekend for what felt like only a moment, spending time with family and not having time for too much exploring. While we were there, time moved slowly, as it can when away from every day realities. We walked the streets of the bustling city, celebrated the love between two people and got to meet our new nephew and it was so nice. My heart was full and upon leaving I felt that small pebble in my stomach, the sadness of going home, back to real life. I wish I could have stayed, seen the friends I missed and spent more time with those close to my heart.
I’m not so great with long term plans. I have no idea what my life will look like at the end of the year (probably much the same as it does now) let alone five years from now. It seems so silly to make plans when things are always changing regardless of my intentions. This post from Liz, posted the day I started writing this, coincidentally touches on exactly this. I do believe in goals though and deadlines.
Today the kids in Los Angeles went back to school, earlier than I ever did as a child. There was always so much hope a the beginning of a school year, excitement mixed with dread. Adulthood rarely has these sort of reoccurring punctuation marks. A chance to start fresh or be let down again. Now we just trudge forward waiting for a break in the clouds.
I listened to a report on the radio about the death of Lauren Bacall and though she lived a long life, full of success, I couldn’t escape that feeling that everything comes to an end. Death is inescapable. I couldn’t help but think of her later years when she was no longer acting and imagine what it must have felt like to look back and see that her achievements were all in her past. Perhaps it was a comfort, to know you could just drift forward. Perhaps it was like a dull aching loss with no grand schemes in front of you.
In theory my accomplishments are still in my future. It’s best I get started making them happen. I was going to make a list here for some sort of accountability purposes but I’ve gone over it so many times in my head it’s burned there like a mantra. Summer may be coming to a close but creative times are ahead.