Monday, September 08, 2008
ONE LAST SPLASH IN THE POOL
Oh, I hate to see it--this ebbing away of one season and the flowing in of another. It's that dratted "circle of life" thing. I told you I turned 60 last month (see it's already the NEXT MONTH!), and ever since, I've been viewing life through clearer, if not more realistic, eyes. Oh, I'm not depressed, discouraged, or defeated, mind you. If anything I'm energized and excited about God's offerings! I sometimes feel a little like that bright-eyed kid I once was, not quite tall enough to reach the kitchen counter, so standing on tiptoe to watch my mom put away the week's groceries, knowing a promised, delicious treat is coming. The older I become the more I'm reminded of God's generous, faithful, perfect love for me. Everyday, I anticipate something good coming down the pike. I'm not saying life is a box of chocolates. NO! Life is scary sometimes; it's full of ups and downs, holes and speed-bumps, disappointments, skinned knees, and bruised hearts. But it's also full of God's grace and mercy and forgiveness. That's the "something good" I'm talking about.
So why is it I cleave to summer? Probably because I didn't do all the things I had good intentions of doing. Yesterday, I took one long look at my shimmering, glimmering pool out my kitchen window. The kids and grandkids were over and my husband and grandson were playing 'Who's gonna get wet first?'. I had a kitchen full of dinner dishes to clean up, but the shrieking sounds of pool play and splashing water beckoned me--as did that lovely, flawless September sunshine. ((Next Sunday, there will be a loop-lock winter cover spread across my pool. Wasn't it just yesterday we took it off after a long, grueling winter?))
I raced to the other room for my swimsuit and jumped into it speedy quick. I'd missed opportunities for pool fun this summer because other things took precedence, like keeping a spotless kitchen, sorting the day's laundry, or even heading to my office to complete that all-important scene in my current novel.
But today I planned to enjoy it, lie in it, lavish it, let the sun drain its hot rays deep into my pores--and phooey on the sunscreen! Phooey on the waiting dishes, the mashed potatoes still sitting in their big serving bowl.
Oh, it was grand listening to Dylan squeal, "Grandma's coming!" Grand when he splashed my back, when I took to the rubber mat and sailed from one end to the other (Grandma's little boat!), grand to listen to all the banter and play and delighted shrieks. And even grander after everyone left for home and naps, and I still lay there in the stillness of an early, early autumn day, tiny breezes rippling the water, listening now to the banter of tree frogs and squirrels, of bird calls and cricket cries.
Yes, it is that "circle of life" thing that keeps our seasons coming and going, makes the wrinkles on our faces grow deeper and longer, makes our children grow into adults who become parents themselves. It's important to recognize there's little we can do to slow down time. What we can do, though, is put a temporary halt to our own rushing lifestyles, take a minute to listen to the cricket's song, the rustle of leaves, that distant dog's lonesome bark. We need to do this. It's the only way to keep our senses sharp, our souls energized, our hearts alive.
And sometimes there are other benefits to slowing down and letting go of some things. Others take notice. Yesterday when I came in after my long afternoon of lazing in the pool--guess what I found. A sparkling kitchen.
Now, that's a benefit I'll gladly accept!