Sunday, July 15, 2012

What We've Been Waiting For

Seattle gets 150 days of rain per year, 300 days of overcast skies, and almost non-stop cool temperatures. So when we finally get nice weather after July 4th, it's a pretty big deal. Every one is outside, giddy with sunshine and the sparkling beauty of Pacific Northwest. It's like we put up with 10 months for the 2 somewhat-reliable months of summer.
That's not completely true- we get some gorgeous, warm days sporadically all spring, and September is like the forgotten summer month. And our penchant for fleece and gor-tex and boots helps us get out even in the drizzly grey. But there is a certain magic this time of year, when the days are loooong, when you can swim after work, when cherries and raspberries are rolling into the markets and the promise of tomatoes and basil and squash and peppers just around the corner. People can finally plan BBQ's, camping trips,  and weddings in this narrow window when it's warm and dry. Consequently, there are tons of trips and activities crammed in to each summer.

I for one already have every weekend planned until September 15th. Crazy! The past month has been a manic frenzy of work, gardening, volunteering, socializing, and getting out of town every weekend, and shows no signs of slowing down. I try to make sure I get enough down-time to cook good food, sleep, and keep my life organized. But at the same time, when you're excited to do something, do it! If you keep putting it off, it may never happen. For years I have wanted to see the fire lookout on Desolation Peak, peer inside Mount Saint Helen's crater, and hike in the Enchantments. I'm tired of putting those things off and am totally committed to doing them this summer. Carpe Diem!

My English teacher my senior year in high school was a truly incredible teacher, and I remember her giving us all little valentines with an Annie Dillard quote. It's about writing, but it makes me think about life in general, about trusting in abundance, and living to the fullest in these rich, vibrant summer days.

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better.”

Another summer event I've wanted to go to for YEARS is Burning Man. I've never been able to go for a variety of reasons, but it is still there in the back of my mind. The man I'm dating has been going for most of the past decade, and seeing his amazing photographs made my interest resurface. Unfortunately there was a huge fiasco with the ticket sales this year and it's sold out. Just when we wrote it off as impossible to get tickets and had let go of the idea, two tickets basically fell into our laps. It seemed too serendipitous to pass up, but I had my doubts. Maybe we should wait until next year- it would give us more time to get ready. But I don't know what will happen next year! What I do know is that Burning Man would be a completely new experience and it's in my heart to go. It may not be the most convenient, restful, inexpensive, physically comfortable, or predictable way to spend the first week of September... but I suppose the best things in life never are.

1 comment:

Anya Traisman said...

Your words are so timely for me Amber. I was just reflecting yesterday how sad I am that I haven't gone swimming in the lake often enough this summer. I've been feeling like summer is slipping by without me, and before I know it, it'll be winter again. Then I realized that I still have a chance, that it's in my hands to enjoy it now, not some day. And if I set one day a week to be my swimming day, at least that guarantees me at least ten more rendezvous with the lake this year --hopefully more. xo