This summer will be how I always intended to live,
Mapped out neatly in my notebook next to the scribbled to-do lists,
Allowing me to breathe in the sauntering, unstructured days of summer.
Filled with possibility and unmarred by the daily grind.
I shall go to bed early and sleep until I am rested.
I’ll nurture my family with meals we make together
With the summer bounty from local farms.
We’ll eat and laugh around our table, sharing our joys and woes
With space for deeper conversations, too.
I shall ride my bike to work, and give away things I no longer need;
Walk gently on the Earth, with pauses for wonder.
Appreciating my abundance with austerity and generosity,
Recalling that time is the only currency worth seeking.
My neglected summer garden
Will be raucous and beautiful, yet unsullied by weeds–
For I will work in my garden for an hour each day.
[I shall call it “happy hour.” Or maybe “half hour.”]
I will read a new book every week, and they will all be worthy
With thoughtful words, fiery ideas, and deeper meanings.
Words will flow from my own fingertips, and they will be precise and uncluttered,
Arranged with perfect balance and cadence and clarity.
I shall run any day that I wish, and soak in the company of friends
Like roots pull nourishment from the soil, and we will linger
Over jokes and earnest conversations with steaming cups of coffee
In the humid early mornings, just after sunrise.
I will seek joy and deliver it with intention to others,
Open my heart, to allow love to wash away the shattered bits
Love without expectation or fear for tomorrow’s woes,
Like drinking deeply from a clear mountain stream
Remembering only the cold wetness the moment it touches my lips.
Then I will awaken and notice the goldenrod flowering
The last brood of Carolina wrens has fledged,
And the sticky days of August are upon us.
Summer days stole by on silent yet swift feet,
Gathering into weeks that were surprisingly busy
And months that disappeared without a trace.
I’ll shake my head and laugh at my Quixotic optimism,
Roll my eyes at my silly, navel-gazing privilege
That enables such dreams and noble intentions.
Nonetheless, I’ll treasure those found moments, and promise myself
That next summer will be different.