Time plays such funny tricks on our minds.
When Cane and I are released from the rigors of the school year each June, we have two weeks of suspended-time feeling. Although we know–we know–that summer will end, we just cannot feel it in June, and all things for summer feel possible. We will grow vegetables and cook real food and tend the garden and float the river and take walks and do all the house projects and we will do it indefinitely.
For the most part, we do. We have time to do all of those things, for which we are profoundly grateful. (Well, we don’t do all the projects. We will never do all the projects. But we do do projects.)
Nonetheless, when the calendar passes July 4, time changes a bit, and then when it turns to August, something turns in us. We become keenly aware of the subtle signs that summer is slipping away–dusk falls earlier, we see the first dry leaves on the lawn, there is a different coolness in the early morning air. And in spite of all our gratitude, and even though we know–we know–we still have a month of summer left, we can find ourselves feeling just a little bit blue, and a lot less present. We can let our anticipation of summer’s end steal from us the time that remains.
All of which is why, yesterday morning, I was happy to learn* of Susannah Conway’s August Break. It is one of those photo-a-day projects, which generally don’t do much for me, but I so love the intention of it:
Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there. If it’s the summer where you are it’s a lovely way to be present to the moments that will be gone before you know it.
Yes, please: I want to be present for all of our August moments this year.
There are prompts for each day. The prompt for August 1: Breakfast.
Because I am a born over-achiever (probably the main thing that keeps from from actually achieving much of what I’d like to), I took more than one photo:
And because I got hungry before the banana bread** finished baking, this is what I actually ate for breakfast:
I have an uneven relationship with photography. Not so much because my skills are basic, but because of how it impacts my connection to the world. Sometimes, a camera brings me closer to experience. I pay attention to it in a different way. Sometimes, though, it separates me from it. Instead of being fully immersed, I am observing from the outside.
I am interested to see which way this project will go. I like the structure of an assignment. (Did I mention over-achiever?) I am hoping it will help me more fully see and appreciate and experience the sweet days that will slip away, as they must. I’ll let you know how it goes.
* I learned of August Break from the lovely Jill Seeger Salahub. I think that many of you who read here would really enjoy her writing and her perspective on living. Every Monday she publishes Something Good, an extensive list of great reads from the interwebs. That alone is worth the price of admission (your time).
**I don’t know if I’ve ever had a Martha Stewart recipe go wrong. This banana bread lives up to its name (The Best Banana Bread).