Monday, August 13, 2018

This week's column for my sons...

Tara, Adam, Aaron and Rachel

Today is the birthday of my twin sons. It is amazing how fast time flies and how much I still miss all three of them under my roof. I wrote this week's column for them and here it is!

Mid-August shows up with the heat of the thunderstorms, and the heaviness of the vines in the garden. The first smooth, fresh zucchini is long gone and replaced with baseball size zucchinis that you cannot even give away! The tomatoes are heavy too.

As much as I love each month of the year, August is my yin and yang. My twins were born on the 13th at the end of the Pleiades. Every year on their birthday, we took sleeping bags and thermos bottles of hot chocolate outside  to wait for the shooting stars. Sometimes we waited for hours, and just before we were to give up, a star would whiz across the inky black sky. Then we had to wait for another one. It was beautiful on the farm in those days. There were no businesses to cast light, just darkness up on Windy Hill Farm.

August was full of canning beans and the last of the raspberry jams: yet still waiting for the cabbages to split down the middle for kraut making. The apples were still high in the tree and waiting for applesauce and cider making.

For me, the sadness of August came with the beginning of school. Aaron used to ask me not to tell him when school started until the night before. As a young boy he knew the magic of “sucking the marrow out of life” stated by Thoreau. We had a ritual of the night before school. Our ritual was not that of new clothes…never new clothes. We piled the bikes into the back of the truck and headed over to Pokagon for biking. Returning home, we took a long, deep swim in the pond to cool off, and then to bed with freshly ironed lavender sheets and pillowcases. Stories ended our evenings. There were always stories no matter how late the night.

When my little ones were tucked into bed, I went out to the porch swing, wrapped in a quilt, and cried my eyes out. Another school year. Another year older. Another year closer to my little boys packing their satchel and going off to seek their fortune in the world.

As I sat on that swing, the only sound was that of Doc Headley out in his fields on his tractor. The only light was the dim headlight on that tractor.

The farm is long gone. The boys have left to seek their fortune. Doc is also long gone, leaving me with stories and memories and seeking my new normal.

August brings for me now time with my new (used) kayak. Why did I wait so long for this pleasure, I ask myself. There is such joy in gliding on the still, quiet water, and with 101 lakes, I must hurry if I plan to kayak on all of them in the years to come. My kayak sits next to my fence just waiting for the next adventure!

This past week August brought me the great pleasure of an early morning Yoga class outside under the trees. My friend, Anita Workman, gave me a call asking if I would like to join her in this class. “Just the two of us?” How could I say no?

I arrived early, and we set up outside under her trees with our instructor, Amanda. Amanda currently lives in the Caribbean and teaches Yoga on the beach, but on this morning, she is our teacher next to the Indiana cornfields, and we take our place on the blankets with towels and cool water next to us. I feel so honored to have been the invited one. There was no sound but that of a woodpecker in a faraway tree, and the rustle of the corn. It was a magical morning in which I thought, each morning should start like this.  After an hour and a half, it was time to get back into the real world, but oh, it was a wonderful way to start the day.

August.  I re-read one of my favorite books, “Dandelion Wine,” by Ray Bradbury. It is the month of the shooting stars and the return of the constellation, Orion. It is the month of school starting, and gardens ending.

It is also a month of new beginnings. New friendships. New kayak adventures, and if I am lucky, someone will call and say, “Hey, Lou Ann, do you want to?” And I will say yes. I will always say yes.”

Happy star gazing, and happy birthday to my sons.