Camp is over for the season.
Today, I brought home this tired and braided girl, after a morning campfire and singalong, hugs to counsellors, and a prolonged and eventually successful search for her “rescue” puffer. I did not bother rushing, or trying to rush. On the way home, we stopped for poutine, a hot dog, chicken fingers, and fries. We also had with us one of her friends, who asked me, musingly, of the roadside restaurant, “Carrie, would you call this place a dive?” to which I replied, “Not really, no.” But then couldn’t think of what, exactly, I would call it. I’ll tell you, though — I’m still thirsty.
It was a beautiful day for a drive through landscape that I consider some of the most beautiful anywhere, even though it has no mountains or vistas or oceans: just rolling fields, brick farmhouses, small towns, and the colours of August, all deep greens and straw yellows against blue skies and white clouds.
But I’m glad to be home. I’m glad we’re all home together! I can’t help but feel a little off-balance when one of my kids is gone, which the three eldest have been for at least a week, each, this summer — different weeks, each of them, creating a different home dynamic each time. It gets me to thinking about how quickly the kids are growing and how soon they will be ready to leave us, for longer and longer stretches of time, and how we’ll have to get used to that. As I suppose we will, because that’s just what one does. Even as I think these thoughts, I try not to let melancholy creep into the now. One of the things I’m trying to do these days is avoid being nostalgic for things while they’re happening. Know what I mean? Instead of trying to hold onto a moment, I want to be inside of it, living it, and also letting it be.
Be here now. Where else to be?
P.S. And completely unrelated: I wonder if the heaviness I felt all summer might have been my book? Having finished the revisions and sent it off, I’m feeling an unexpected lightness of spirit and mind here at the end of summer, despite it being the end of summer, and despite nursing a mild concussion that hasn’t allowed me to do any of the fun endorphin-related stuff I usually do to keep my spirits bouyant.