September Song

I’m in the dwindling days of summer, as we all are. Clutching the thread-bare remnants of this gorgeous, lazy season.

Fall is nipping at my heels, and I’m mildly tense and anxious about the transition, the shift, and the fact that I will never — ever — be able to catch up to my children’s next stages. I’m forever a season behind them, I think. Washing pajama pants that no longer fit. Rushing them out in sudden thunderstorms to doctor’s appointments, only to have hangers and hall closets betray me, and offer rain jackets with sleeves that reveal emerging wrist bones. Feeling for toes in the rounded, scuffed leather of shoes, and finding them, pressing against the stitching and yearning for freedom. Releasing sticky, chubby hands that no longer need guidance across the street. Letting go of small, tiny moments — and tender, precious souls — that were never mine to possess.

As the rows of mums appear on greenhouse pallets and efficient doorsteps — requisite fall patterns of gold and burgundy and yellow, marking the all-too-hurried end of August — I pause, and lie on my back in the grass, on our well-kept green patch of sembled New Jersey nature. Once my eyes have adjusted to the white sunlight, I focus on a cloud in a hazy summer sky, and let trompe l’oeil distort my view, and rest for a moment in the false comfort that it is me — and not the cloud patterns — traveling so fluidly, so effortlessly, through this life.


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