Lucy Crowe's Nest: Late August at the Lake

Monday, August 25, 2014

Late August at the Lake

August, don’t leave us yet!
It is true that I normally don’t feel that way about this month, but the weather has been kind to us this year, with beautiful sun-soaked afternoons and crisp evenings where the tip of the moon in a boundless pink sky makes you want to live forever.
And so, August has that bittersweet feel to me right now, that sense of wanting to cling to something as mutable as heat lightning, or the rush of creek water through grasping fingers.
Don’t go, don’t go.

But isn’t most of life this way?

Late afternoon, and my daughter and I drive to the lake for the first time – yes, probably the only time – this summer. So much of our lives, so many of our memories, are caught up in here in the sun-dappled water, and when I jump in it all washes over me in a rush. A thousand days, a million moments, every summer I’ve ever lived - here in the whoosh of water, the cool green depths.
Don’t go, don’t go.
If you’re lucky, raising children gives you a sort of second childhood, so that their “When we were little” meshes almost seamlessly with your own. So much of ours was spent here at the lake. So much made up of sand castles, the raft, sun-brown bodies tumbling in diamond water. Summer air so thick it was like breathing jello through a straw, and a pop machine that never worked.
We loved it here.
My kids are grown up now! My daughter, here with me today, is a brilliant, lovely college student. I remember holding her the first time and having this very same awareness of time hurrying on, rushing forward, pushing us onward. I thought then, and I think now – this moment, this here and now, will never be again.
But I think it is true that the best moments in our lives, the ones that we cling to the hardest, get stored away somewhere. I think of God keeping a careful tally and stashing those days away in a big boxes with names on the lids. And wow, when you get to open it, there it all will be – the first kiss, the tiny baby, the trillions of sweet and breathless life moments that skitter away faster than you can catch them.
This day, here. Late August at the lake.

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