We roll into the empty parking lot,
windows down, afternoon light all
angled and golden. In the backseat, the girls
are "singing hallelujah for the first time,"
along with The Head and The Heart.
It is the begining of the first weekend of the school year
and so we come to the river.
Wading in, I try to memorize the feel
of moving water against my legs
even as the current crawls to a whisper.
I lean deep into 'lasts' this time of year.
Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should be
someone who lives easily in the present,
devouring the seconds and minutes
as I move through them.
But the end of summer
makes me nostalgic in ways I can't ignore.
This could be my last river swim until next summer.
This could be the last week we sleep
with every window in the house
This will be the last summer
my children look this small,
in this particular way.
I float on my back,
feet pointed downriver the way
you're supposed to.
I watch and listen as the girls
play orphan cave sisters,
gathering seaweed for the long
voyage to the north shore.
And for a second
I get a glimpse
of the perfect completeness
of this moment, this perfect arc
of sunlit afternoon, of ending summer,
of my daughters; exactly as they are
And I remember that this day is ours,
and so is the next, that the future is one
enormous mystery to move through.
*My friend, Nici, wrote a blog post last spring that ends with these same two words. Simple as they may be, I think about them often. Lucky us. Helps keep everything in perspective.