Tuesday, October 15, 2013

just a little longer

If I look back, I can see that I began to declare it Fall here several weeks ago.

And if you look at my pictures, you can see the changes in the colors, and I know I could feel the changes that were coming back then.  And the return to school is impossible to ignore as a reminder of the turn from warmth and sun and open time to a more structured, chillier, closer to home kind of life.

This weekend was a long weekend for all of us, and we made our way to camp, with grandparents, and my brother, my sister-in-law and our niece, our children's one beloved cousin.

And it was Fall there.  True Fall.  Colors blazing.  Smells of wood fires and crisp leaves and the sweetness of wet earth and chill.  Warm food and extra layers of blankets on the beds.  Only the pines green on the mountain range across the lake.  Colors reflected in the brook, blurring in the current.

And I feel a bit silly talking more about Fall.  And another trip to camp where it was all about one possible last time this season.  One last canoe or kayak ride.  One last walk through the woods.  One last visit there.  Each one last replacing the previous possible last one, from the visit before.  As though it is a bad thing that the same season is still going on.  But somehow, in the quick changes that seasonal transitions seem to highlight for me, I do actually feel like our life together changes so quickly at times that it is inconceivable that we might be able to have some extras in there, some time together that is still the same, not jumping into the next season, stage, or event.  Just, Fall.  Again.  Another Fall weekend.

Maybe I should count each possible one last time as a bonus.  An extra.  A stolen 'nother go at it.  This Fall when the kids are 12, 9, and 7.  There will never be another Fall like this.  When their interests are these, their musings are about this, and their minds are grappling in these ways.

Or that their bodies are in this moment.  Of wiggly and missing teeth.  Almost every picture from the weekend of Julia has either her finger or her tongue in the newly vacated space in the back.  Nine.  Part little child, part older child.  Finding her place between the young and the more mature. Deciding whether to play make believe or join in a board game.  Wanting both.  Large molars falling out instead of little front teeth.  Somehow these back ones are more weighty, and leave a bigger space, requiring a bigger leap into what comes next.

And so, another visit, more time, is indeed a bonus.

There is something about paying attention, about being present, about having the time and the space.  To be moving slowly enough to feel the wind change, to feel and see whispers of temperature and color and light shifts, ever so brief at first, that I hope will make this fast whirl of childhood feel just a bit longer, a bit less fleeting, a bit more like I am able to savor it, to remember it, to be in it.  And I am hoping the same for my children as well.

Camp is in the town that my grandparents lived out their childhood.  And where they chose as adults to purchase a bit of land on the side of a lake and to build this camp.  This weekend, we ventured downtown and in the shadows of old buildings and a tiny historical museum, we played.  These old buildings, the care with which some have been preserved, and the raw beauty of those that are currently unused.  There is no better reminder of how time passes.  How a building that was once the school my grandmother attended, then taught at, is now a store.  How many things, how many moments can pass by in a blink.

So we filed away new memories this weekend.  Of playing.  Lots and lots of playing.  Which led to lots of laughter.

In a newly spruced up space, but the place still the same.

Sleeping in a new outbuilding, long and skinny for boats, but for the weekend, a camping season extender, allowing us all to sleep outside, in sleeping bags, in a heap.  Close to one another.  Everyone within my eye's reach.  One last time...

Squeezing the time, creating the time, making it all feel as though it can last just a little longer.

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