Oh August — the last bittersweet lap of summer…
…like approaching the crest of a hill stretching straight into fall. In previous years, with the momentum of June and July behind me, I’d lift my feet off the pedals to just cruise down that hill, feeling the joy of gravity pulling me faster and faster, the wind whipping my hair manically. Perhaps there would be a whirlwind trip to Europe. Perhaps there would be a reunion to see friends on the west coast. Perhaps there would be countless museum dates, nights at the theater and afternoons at baseball games, until August suddenly crashes into September.
But things look different. Things are different.
There’s a lot I think we all feel we “should have” been doing right now. I’m certainly guilty of it at times. This past weekend, in an effort to punctuate our first Sunday of August, we spent the afternoon driving, exploring beaches in New Jersey we had never been to — and it felt so nice to just enjoy a drive, with little to no planning beforehand, something I admittedly rarely do. We ended up at Island Beach State Park, a sleepy stretch of sandy beaches and grass-covered dunes past Seaside Heights, just in time for sunset. Elvis dug a few holes, chased waves and we sat to listen to the roaring heartbeat of the Atlantic Ocean.
It was there, while listening to the ebb and flow of the water, I realized when I look back on most summers in recent memory, my mind rarely dwells on the things I didn’t do. The trips that fizzled or the parties I missed fade into obscurity — a distant blip on my memory radar, making it that much easier to heighten and celebrate all the things I did manage to do, whether they be big or small. I don’t know about you, but I like to think the summer of 2020, when we look back on it years from now, will be no different. So bring it on August. I’m ready to cruise.