The kids are back in school and I am back at my writing desk; the unstructured rhythm of summer giving way to the order of fall.
Here, in Central New York, we experience all four seasons, but not in balance. The scale is calibrated in favor of winter. The snow begins somewhere around Thanksgiving and doesn’t let up until late March or early April. I love winter and still delight in snowfall and sweaters, hearty soup and hot tea, heavy blankets and blazing hearths. But five months of this presses me to my limit. In a region known for its snowfall, the warmer months of summer are a gift; the reward for having persevered through the cold, dark months of winter.
In May I unwrapped the gift, feeling the tug outdoors. There was much that demanded my attention.
There were chores to attend to. I rebuilt the front stoop, re-laid part of our brick walkway, rehung the gutters in the front of our house, scrubbed the moss growth off the roof, and sealed the driveway. One by one I scratched items off my to-do list.
There were beehives to manage. In the end, I settled into two hives, though for portions of the summer I had four. Some friends and I received some valuable experience extracting two hives from a barn. One of the hives survived, while the other died. We learned more from what we did wrong than what we did right. We’ll get third chance next spring. Another hive has taken up residence in the same barn. But for now it looks like there will be no honey harvest this season. Both hives are still building up their honey stores for the winter.
There were trails to be run. I cut back on my running regimen from previous summers, choosing to forgo any marathon or half marathon training. I ran for fun, 3-4 miles, 2-3 times a week. Mostly I ran the trails that wiggle their way through our neighborhood, but I also forayed into the Wildlife management area about a half-mile from my house and discovered some new trails.
There was plenty of relaxing. I lounged in sunny poolside chairs and in a shaded backyard hammock. I read books, though often reading gave way to resting, the warmth of the sun or the cool of the shade lulling me to sleep.
And there were kids. Four of them at home for the duration. No school to break up the monotony. Stunted creativity leading to boredom. The quite house that cultivates my writing was replaced with a noisy brood, sometimes joyful, sometimes angry, sometimes whiny, sometimes goofy. But most always noisy.
So I haven’t written much in the last few months and the blog has been neglected. That season is over and I am anxious to see what God will teach me. When I am writing, I am more attentive. My eyes are open, my ears are tuned to see and hear what God is up to. Writing begins with having something to say. That will depend on having first heard something from God. So I listen more carefully. In hindsight, I regret that I have let that wane over the summer.
I hope to write weekly. That may stretch to bi-weekly. Mostly this will still be the greenhouse, where ideas can germinate and grow into seedlings. Some will pruned and nurtured and eventually grow into published articles. Others will wither and die, never strong enough to survive outside the climate-controlled environment of this conservatory.
So the school year begins and I am back at my writing desk. But not for long. Not today. Summer is lingering into September and today is a glorious day. I should be outside.