After a few days of feeling this feeling without knowing what to name it or call it, I realize now that I think I am nostalgic about summer AS IT IS OCCURRING. Nostalgia is difficult at the best of times, that sweet but painful longing sensation, but to experience it for something before it has even passed? Well that's torturous on a whole new level.
This photo was taken at the very onset of summer and already I am looking back on it with that bittersweet pang. And really, there's probably some rule that you can't feel mournful or nostalgic when the child hasn't even outgrown the outfit she'd photographed in, but here I go, breaking that one.
And we just got back from our super-vacation on the Gulf Coast with Nathan's parents and already I am wistful. Sometimes my kids will be like: "Mama, remember that time that we rescued that lost dog?" and I will look at them like they are crazy because the instance they are recalling happened that very day. Well I am now that person. "Remember that time when we drank smoothies and built sand castles and swam in the pool and watched Star Wars every single day?!?!" Then I remember that not even a week has passed since our return. How I could possibly forget this when I deliberately step over the semi-unpacked suitcase every night before going to bed? I don't know.
And Bella just slipped off to her other house for a few days and already I am looking at her disheveled room with a sigh. Her pre-teen face products were cleared off the bathroom counter only yesterday and I am nostalgic about summer break. It's not even the end of June! The washcloth she accidentally dropped in the toilet and then oh-so-considerately draped on the edge of the toilet seat to "dry" is still wet (though rinsed out by Papa of course) and yet here I am, moping about.
And I guess to be fair it's part moping and part wonder. (That's how I figure it's instantaneous nostalgia.) I am filled with wonder that this thing called summer ever occurrs. As a kid it was legendary of course. In my childhood mind summer s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d so long and yellow. It was so potent and lengthy that no other time or season existed. And now, as an adult, it's still legendary, it's still my favorite time of all time but it no longer stretches. In fact I am so aware of it's uniqueness that I peer out at it like it's a dream.
Last night I took Henry around the block late at night just to get one more taste before bed. I walked past Bill's and then Nancy's, I rounded the corner and noticed new hanging plants on the new people's house. I picked up Henry's poop in the rental apartment's scraggly grass. I tried to get the intense border collie, who was stalking Henry through the picket fence, to wag his tail. But mostly I was drinking it in, the green grass, the neighbors in shorts, the teenagers riding on the sidewalk with dairy queen cups, because NONE OF THIS happens at any other time of year. At least not in this languid, balmy, summery way.
And I suppose that's the trick of course. Be here now, as they say. Marvel over Echo's summertime highlights and brown shoulders not because they won't be like that in three months time but because they are like that now. And sniff the lupin while dodging the bees not because the flowers will be brittle and dead when school starts but because they are shining and buzzing and brilliant this very moment.
I'll try anyway.
Any moments or visions you are savoring this very instant? Do you have any tricks for ducking instantaneous nostalgia?