Summer

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We change our living room like some folks change underwear. We found our last couch for free on the side of the road and hauled it home in the back of a borrowed pick up. When I was paid for a speaking gig with $250 worth of American Express gift cards I figured it was time to level up and splurged on a black faux leather futon in the going out of business sale at Sears. Life is always changing. You never know what it may bring.

On the day of the solar eclipse I ended up with three boys, a game of twister, a body's worth of dollar store candy, silly string and glow in the dark battle axes in my own backyard. My mother who'd been hosting the ingenious "Grandma Camp" that week needed emergency dental surgery and so I took over her wards, one of which was my very own. It was perfect because there was nowhere I would have rather been than with three 12 year-olds taking turns watching the sky undergo cosmic transformation like a sci-fi movie broadcast above the trees. My mom was well enough to stop by for a visit. My husband came home between service calls at work. A good friend dropped in to hang out. The woman from whom we were adopting kittens said we could come get them later that afternoon. We named our new babies Sun and Moon. None of it was planned. All of it was glorious.

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Maybe it's the 18 million 12-step meetings or the new medication or turning 42. Maybe it's the stunning, gutting awareness that our son will only be in the house a few more years or the horror in the world that makes what's here shine brighter, gleam harder, become more precious than ever before. As I write this I am sleep deprived from the kitten's aggressive bouts of 2 am cuddling, forcing themselves underneath my chin to lick up my nose. The fastest summer on record is slinking away and as much as I want to grab it by the tail, wrestle it to the ground, and hold on to it like hell, I know it's time to make way for the new beasts and beauties of fall. I've always loved living in a state with all the seasons, transformation manifest not only within but without. The old couch is still in the backyard waiting its turn to return to the earth.

Valley Haggard1 Comment