This summer began with me wrapped in a fog of grief after the death of someone I loved dearly. Nothing would be the same ever again, yet everything is always exactly as it was. Mornings come. Laundry needs folding and the fridge needs stocking. There’s work to do, coffee to drink. People to love. Rainy days and sunny days and foggy days and all the days. They just keep coming. Despite the slower pace, somehow, time actually speeds up in summer, and if you don’t pay attention, you run the risk of missing it.
In typical years (I laughed at myself even as I typed the word “typical”) I fill myself up with all the Summer Things, I stash the light somewhere inside my body, so that I can draw it to the surface for reference, and it helps me survive the long dark days of not-summer.
But this year, I was afraid that September would come, and I would have stumbled through the short season without ever emerging long enough to enjoy it. I worried that I wouldn’t make it to next summer if I let this one slip away.
So, in a moment of industriousness, I reminded myself that it was within my power to give myself this summer. I could capture the days! Well, maybe not the days, but some of the moments, at least. I needed proof. A photo project. One image a day, as a reminder to pay attention.
Instead of just documenting moments, though, I found myself forging them. Creating things worth remembering, and then sitting in them, on purpose and with intention.
Joy that might have gone unexperienced, certainly unnoticed or remembered, save for this practice of mine.
So yes, I created a record. I did the Summer Things. I can review the images in February and inject some of their warmth into the colder, darker days.
What I didn’t count on, what I should have remembered, was how the act of recording can become a practice in living.