Saturday, July 23, 2011

Time Traveling

What a blur. It feels like just a few weeks ago that I soaked my sweet pea seeds and tapped them into the ground. Yet when I returned from London and Knit Nation earlier this week, I discovered that they were already in full bloom. The peonies are done, the delphiniums are already forming seed pods, and even my hollyhocks, those glorious spikes of rich pink, were on their way out. Even the field is turning gold. What is happening?

Meanwhile my nieces - those wild and fearless young optimists who used to run out into the field barefoot and pluck wildflowers for me - have suddenly become subdued teenagers with far too much on their minds. All too quickly they've been pushed into a tricky world, and it pains me to watch them try to navigate it.

Yesterday we all went swimming in the same large freshwater pond where I learned to swim as a toddler and where my mother swam during summer camp when she was a child. And for a brief moment, as we bobbed around and made silly dives off the float, I felt time transcended. I felt their happy young firefly spirits, and I felt my own, and we were all right there, splashing and laughing together. It was as if an editor had gone in and erased all records of boyfriends and peer pressure and health insurance premiums and that strange noise that just started coming from the front wheel well that could mean a brake job or a leaky ball joint or good lord maybe the whole car is starting to go... Nope, all that was out of the picture.

Soon enough the inevitable "time for dinner!" call came from shore and we reluctantly got out, dried off, and returned to our respective roles as adults and teens. But how reassuring to know all was not actually lost. It was still right there, as if in suspended animation, just waiting for us. Sounds and smells can evoke visceral responses, but nothing beats putting on a dorky bathing suit and splashing around in a pond, reconnecting with the people you love.