Monday, July 8, 2013

I Know It's Summer When I Stop Writing

I once wrote how I knew it was winter. Perhaps it's time to write about how I know it's summer. And it really has nothing to do with bar-b-ques and heat waves.

It's summer when I have bursts of energy to clean and to organize -- which steals not only my writing time, but my impetus. Where I learn to brew kombucha, pick roses and plums from my backyard. It's summer when I only grumble and rant about my teenagers playing WoW and Minecraft non-stop for hours on end, rather than giving them time limits -- because what else would they do while I'm massaging clients, taking yoga classes, or working in the garden?

Summer time is for not thinking big thoughts, stuffing them instead while I busywork through the day, taking advantage of the light. The skin-peeling consequence of that, is that if I don't allow myself to think them, I can't write them down either. And then THAT starts a cycle of writer's block.

I know this pattern.

I breathe it.
At least twice a year.

(I wonder if it correlates to when the seasons change, or if it happens when my life twists and alters course.)

Summer is for new business ventures, self-publishing books, and splashing merrily in the waves of a nine-month-old romantic relationship with my Turk. Summer is the time to break up dog fights with hoses, and walk the neighborhoods looking for those same cherished doggies when firecrackerfear compels them to jump out windows and push through six-inch openings in fences and find their way to the other house they live at, all by themselves.

I know it's summer when I fold my laundry and wish that I had a clothesline to capture the scent of sun.  When ants and fruit flies invade my compost bucket under the sink, and no amount of bait alleviates the swarms. When sneezing doesn't make people shrink back from your germs: It's just allergies.

I know it's summer when my arms itch for no reason, except maybe ambient pollen. When I make jam from the raspberries in my yard. When I surprise myself with gardening prowess. I know it's summer when doggies sleep on the bare hardwood floors in my house instead of upholstered squishy green couches.

When I envy the neighbors' gardens and flower beds.

When I think of all manner of things to do BUT write.

I can't write because I'm not caught up with the housework, and I don't want to leave it for another four days before I get back to it. (I clean in spurts.) I can't write because I often over extend myself, not just in summer, but it feels like I do it more in this season. So much so that come 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I'm bushed. Extra sunlight be damned. All I want to do in the afternoon is read. So I trick myself into reading books that are "good for me." Non-fiction mostly. Or that one novel I need to read for the Early Reviewers Club.

Summer is for looking at my knitting bag with wist and longing, because knitting is for winter days by the fire.

Summer is for remembering to stay hydrated, but then peeing every forty-five minutes until I'm bored with it.

I know it's summer when I only find out I have a fruit tree in the yard by almost stepping in the too-ripe ones on the sidewalk in front of my house.

If Summer isn't for big thoughts, it's for big PLANS. So many plans that I effectively gouge out huge slabs of writing time and just watch them fritter to the floor. Camping for a week, a conference for a long weekend, a flight out of state to take my children to their grandmother's place, and music festivals with costumes.

Summer is here when I take an art class for a day, sleep with the door open because it's so hot I'm counting on the dogs to scare away any intruders, and finally getting around to taking my first Spanish lesson.

I know it's summer when I meet new friends at cookouts and birthday parties. When I feel inspired to change things up. To build a chicken gate for the run that has no chickens yet. And to run yet another errand. It's a season of feeling euphoria, and then worry that the euphoria might be manic, and thinking I should probably write about it, but instead allow the weather and my productiveness to give me an artificial high so that I forget about that reason I'm not writing.

I wonder if Autumn is the season to write.

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