August has arrived suddenly and I admit that it took me somewhat by surprise. July was full of visitors and adventures and truly felt like summer in all its splendor, complete with campfires and good food and the ringing laughter of friends. The days have been long and I’ve gloried in late evening runs in the forest as the shadows stretch taut in golden light that has seemed to hover, reluctant to yield to the night.
In summers past, I’ve slowly bowed under the weight of my workload grown heavy and bursting with the wedding season, eventually supplanting the woodsy runs and evenings on the deck with extended hours at my computer, not realizing that creativity requires rest and fuel to thrive. I vowed that this year would be different, that I would discipline myself to protect the stores of energy required to flourish, to create, to offer my loved ones and my clients the best I have to give. It’s been a struggle at times, counterintuitive to step away from work to be more productive, to set aside guilt (and perhaps a bit of ego?) at allowing my work day to end after eight or ten hours rather than twelve or fifteen. It’s the dirty little secret about entrepreneurship that goes largely unspoken: that there is always more work to do and it is up to you, and you alone, as business owner to draw the line. That part of responsible and sustainable entrepreneurship rests on the ability to draw that line and step away so that day after day it is possible to truly show up and do your best work.
So this summer, when a long lost friend came back into my life after more than twenty years, I relished our hours of conversation over good food and great beer and a few ice cream cones without guilt. When our dear friends made the eight hour drive from their home to ours to spend a long weekend “glamping” in our backyard to introduce their daughter to the joys of sleeping in a tent, I closed my office door and opened myself to the cool coastal breeze and the hilarity of a toddler discovering the wider world. When the opportunity to lay my own head down beneath the veil of a tent wall beside the roar of a rushing river and in the shadow of a glorious mountain came, it was without hesitation that I grabbed my journal and my camera and the hand of that amazing man I married and we set out for Baxter to soak in white water and scramble on Katahdin.
August has arrived suddenly and I admit that I am feeling the very first fleeting twinges of craving the crisp air of fall, despite last year’s long winter. Soon the leaves will start to show yellow at their tips and the pumpkins still green on their vines will deepen into burnt orange. The bikes and skateboards littering our neighbors’ yards will get stowed as the kids head back to school and our attention will return to the routines we shrugged off during our summer fling with the fleeting warmth. Soon the summer will end and another autumn will begin and the cycle will continue to its next season, unyielding.
But not yet.
Our guide from the Kennebec…
Showing Lisa around Maine…complete with lobster rolls at the Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster,
ice cream custard from Mainely Custard, and a stop at the Harbor Fish Market before she headed home!
Justin and I met while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail back in 2003. While he completed the more than 2,000 mile trek and had his moment on Mt. Katahdin, I had to end my hike short of the summit. She’s a glorious mountain and we had a phenomenal hike up after a day spent paddling on the Penobscot and camping by the river.
“I have created fire!”
In my book, there is simply nothing in the world so glorious as waking to the sound and sights of misty moving water. Nothing.
It might not be the end of a thru-hike for us, but the sign is still pretty cool! Especially knowing that approximately 1,800 miles south of where we were standing is a little A.T. shelter where we once said hello for the very first time, not realizing that we’d just changed the trajectory of our lives.
Go, my friends, and soak in the last of the summer sun!!!