Summer is passing, at a rate I can't quite understand.
I arrived in Alaska mid-May, with three gorgeous, unstructured months ahead of me. It felt like eternity, in the best possible way: endless hours with friends, time to soak up Alaska's uniquely precious outdoors, and seeing my family without a plane ticket breathing "hurry up and enjoy this!"
Somehow it is July. My endless summer is half over, the lupines fading and the fireweed beginning to bloom.
I am partial to lupines and they say "youth" in my personal language of flowers. One of my favorite pictures from my childhood is baby Redzils toddling through a patch of lupines, grinning, with her red-gold ringlets swaying in the breeze. They aren't spring flowers, exactly, but they bloom in early summer and fade away gradually. Watching the bank of soft purple lupines which adorn the hill across from TDaC's driveway fade from brilliant purple to almost purple, with the greenery reasserting itself, cues me that nothing stays the same.
Around here, the striking pink-red fireweed appears later. The flowers open from the bottom up, over time, and when the top pods burst, with white seed cotton bursting free, winter is almost here. Fireweed herald the return of termination dust, when Alaska's short green season ends, the land fades to a crimson brown, and snow settles over everything. I don’t get to see Alaska's marvelous, albeit short, fall anymore - I am back east by then, turning my attention to school. And seeing the fireweed bloom, with more pink blossoms bursting free each day, reminds me that fall and my new academic life are coming.
I have not been eating healthily or going to the gym, despite prior assertions. I have been spending my time and energy on the people I care about, forging new relationships and trying to bolster old ones. I am enmeshing myself in the dance community here, trying to perform well at work, and spending the time I can find with friends and family (that full time job thing really gets in the way). I figure the fall, when I am back to living a spartan life, eating my own cooking and waking up at the same time every day, is soon enough to start worrying about calories and lifting weights. Right now I am too busy eating Thai food with my friends, staying up late and sleeping ridiculous hours, and trying to say "Yes!" to every good idea that comes along.
I don’t want summer to end. I am not ready, but I am slowly realizing that I don’t have to be. My endless summer is only halfway gone. I still have almost a month and a half left, and I mean to make the most of it. I bought new roller-blades, and the current plan is to get outside and skate as often as I can, rather than attempting to lure myself into a hot, stinky aerobics room at the local gym. I am going to embrace the craziness of my summer and soak it all up, to inoculate me from the ennui of fall. And I have to remember: this fall will be different from the four before it. The Wicked Witch of the South East doesn't control my academic destiny anymore, I am going to be living alone in a fabulous house, and dancing a lot. It will still be far from home, and maybe lonely, but ... as always, the good news (and the bad news) is that nothing stays the same.