These Summer Days.

I know it is cliche to say "the summer is flying by", but it's true. It's not so much that the time is passing quickly, but that I've had my head down so often, trying to accomplish things, that when I finally looked up, I realized how much time has passed. We have not been to the beach once, and I am having a hard time with the sensation that I have not had enough "down time" lately to enjoy this most lovely time of year. Some of it is commitments with swim, violin and a week of summer camp thrown in, but mostly just day-to-day tasks; animals, garden, etc. I have once again expanded the garden, and therefor doubled the workload, and as the flock/herd of sheep/goats grows, that too takes more time. I keep thinking that I haven't spent enough time with the children, or gone to the beach enough (or, at all...ahem.), or gone hiking.

All of this has been on my mind. And then, this morning, I realized quite suddenly, that this window is short. Not in the way that I expected to feel; the usual guilt-laden thoughts about how I should have enjoyed it more, or just relaxed a bit. No, it was more of a memory about how very long the winter is, and how much time I actually do spend with the children cooped up in the house during those months, and that actually, what I am doing right now is how I want our summer to be. Maybe for us it doesn't mean going to the beach every day, or owning a boat and drinking beer on the weekends, or even getting to travel a bit. But, these days are free. In the absolute sense of the word. The entire day, most days, for the children, is spent exploring, playing in the woods, in the treehouse, foraging for food, making hideouts, running, laughing, picking flowers. Yes, we love the beach, but the thoughts that come to us in the darker, colder months of the year, are the memories of how we spend these days, and for us, this is it.