If June is summer's starting line, where energy and enthusiasm build until a sudden blast through the gate, full steam ahead, then August is the pinnacle. August is for the long-distance fans, who build momentum and know they must sustain it though hot, heavy days, sibling squabbles, long car rides and lower energy reserves. Summer encompasses all of these things. August is hot, sweaty, sticky, sunny and sometimes I feel like I'm dragging each foot to get to the next day. I have noticed, each year, that I go through a bout of real exhaustion and lethargy mid-August that lasts about a week.
I am in that boat right now. I am consistently tired, less patient, slow-moving and sleepy by mid-afternoon. Is it the heat, finally getting to me? Is it some snotty universal taunt, asking me, "well how do you like summer now, little miss solstice?" I am between adventures and wondering the best way to persevere through this momentary lapse in zeal.
My steady refrain to whining, bickering and boredom has become, "well, let's go to the woods for a walk," and everyone puts on their sandals, grabs a water bottle and files into the minivan, where they argue some more about which woods we should pick. We get there, begin walking, and are uplifted. I am lightened by the sound of the breeze rushing through tall trees. I let the girls walk at their pace, and scan the forest for unusual sights: teeny tiny frogs, new flowers, or this blue jay feather we found the other day. These discoveries, ("girls! come quick and see this!") make a walk an exploration, a movement meditation, and pause to collect ourselves.
Other times, the slow, heavy weight of another 30-degree day cannot be conquered, so I succumb. Hibiscus iced tea, snack crackers, a movie. A quiet moment to rest. A flip through Mary Oliver for the words to match my feelings. An evening run, in the hopes I will tap into an energy reserve that will awaken in time for tomorrow.