I pour coffee into a mug imprinted with a rooster and sunflower and I think of the summer. The mug evokes the summer, but its stories were written in the spring. I think how rare I play the role of a diarist anymore and I think of where the stories of that mug may reside, then return to the thoughts of this year.
It is little secret I’ve not enjoyed the summer, though it has had its days. There was no travel this year and of everything I lamented, it is rock and water were lacking and brick and mortar always present.
If there was joy and there was, it was the summer, specifically June, was inundated with birth and that I became a little more comfortable with thinking on the greater questions.
I pondered my upbringing and had those conversations which led me to think on my interior life, the place I most reside. I thought of my voyage from fundamentalism to pietism, then crypto-Calvinism and finally high church and how in that journey my view of the sanctity of life returned to where it was in the place of my youth, though the harsh theology that defined that was gone. On that issue, my mind changed during the harshest summer and I was glad that at least I can say this summer is not the most brutal I’ve had.
I still would love to have seen at least one other lake or a mountain. I would have loved to have gone back to the fountain of youth. I am not one to ever be discontent with his years, but I do have a perpetually old soul and until this year, the summer always infused that with vigor. My lack of travel and the commitments I had in the city destroyed that and it is my nature to think the earliest it can happen is during the next summer.
The city is cooling today. It is cloudy, but the clouds are breaking. Very soon Stone Park will be awash in yellow and I will welcome the fall. Maybe this fall no one will die, maybe no one will move away, things the summer did not spare me. Maybe in the fall I will allow myself to be a little more foolish and yet not be treated like a fool. That too will be better than the summer. Maybe I will sleep better at night and get a handle on deadlines. (Now I am being foolish, even if everything else happens, deadlines are as certain as death.)
Now I will pour another mug of coffee and think a little more of the summer, though not in any nostalgic or sad way. I just have to figure out if “the cross is in the ballpark.”
Image: The Fountain of Youth, located in Ohio’s Mohican Forest, ironically this picture was taken in the fall.