“It is in the nature of things to change. Nothing can last beyond its given time. And I think that instinctively we know what that time is. What is it that makes us know when the summer turns? The smallest shift in the light? The slightest hint of chill in the morning air? A certain rustling of the leaves in the birches? That is how it is – suddenly, in the midst of the summer heat, you are overcome by a tightening of your heart. The realization that it will all come to an end. And that brings a new intensity to everything: the colors, the smells, the feeling of sunshine on your arm.”
from, Astrid and Veronika
My daughters all had birthdays this spring/summer. They went from being 13, 9, 5 (still little girls, really) to 14, 10, and 6. One year shouldn’t make all that big a difference, but I felt a shift …. the smallest shift in light … in my life. Sarah Jane will be going to high school – HIGH school – and will be running on the amazing CHHS cross-country team. Her voice sounds like a grown-up on the phone, a bit raspy and confident (like a sorority girl or a college soccer player – you know the sound? a too-deep voice, almost a bark). Anyway, she’s not a little girl anymore. Neither is Rosie or even Lizzie, my “baby.” I saw a TV show last night where the mother of a 9 and 13 year-old said, “I’ve done the mom thing, now its time to focus on me.” Yuk. I don’t want to focus on me – how boring. I’ve been with ME for 45 years. This new generation of American adults who have fallen prey to the consumer propaganda of beautifying self (to the point of carving up actual body parts with plastic surgery, yikes!) and finding self and loving self, and self-care, self-help, self-exploration, self-discovery, blah blah blecchh, bores me to tears. I want to go screaming back to the Vales of Har.*
What about you?
* “The Virgin started from her seat, & with a shriek
Fled back unhinder’d till she came into the vales of Har.”