It’s been one of those summers not to be forgotten. Magic days spent with best friends. Loving hours spent with family. Love, in every corner. Days spent celebrating now, celebrating this moment. I’ve also been trying to capture it. My hand has been glued to my camera more than ever this summer. At the same time, I haven’t let it stop me from living. Occasionally a friend will take the camera, or we’ll do hold-out-your-arm myspace-style shots just to remember that I was there too. I like seeing the moments through their eyes as well. More than anything, I’m grateful for these memories. The images will simply make them that much more celebrated.
The first half of my summer was spent largely in a classroom, learning Calculus. As much as 4 hours of school (and at least as much homework) everyday wasn’t fun, I loved it. Looking at math in a completely different way was marvelous. Tough, yes, but good. This fall marks the start of my gap year. Last year I touched on how this year would be for university, but things change. Life happens. It knocked me out of school, riddled with illness for 3 1/2 months last winter. I graduated, but I want more. More classes, more time. I want to travel. I want to breathe. The opportunity to take a break doesn’t roll along often – and I’m not naive enough to assume that it will pop up whenever I’m exhausted from here on in, but this time, I’m grabbing it by the horns.
Before Calculus got underway, I had a week. One week of pure summer. Spontaneous sleepovers at best friend’s houses, all-day Doctor Who marathons, mini-road trips, Canada day celebrations, and laughter. So much laughter.
I hiked up to teahouses with my dad.
I watched my brother grow. Grow as an athlete, as a player, and in height.
I baked with my mom.
I made pie, banana bread, millet biscuits, and cinnamon rolls. They were our staples. I didn’t experiment very much with recipes, rather just celebrating the ones we love. Sometimes going back to our roots can be the best thing.
We went back. Back to the place where my grandma grew up. She saw her childhood home for the last time (her words! Not mine.). We marveled at the changes the places that live fiercely in our memories have had. Rather than just the stories regaled each year, new ones came to light. Long-departed family members were painted with memories rather than simply being a name in my family tree. I crave those stories. I don’t want to let them be lost as the years and generations go by.
This summer, I shared food with friends, and family. Pie, of course, but also meals. In the homes of fellow bloggers, great meals. Meals out. A meal enjoyed sprawled in a friend’s backyard, as a final hurrah before she left for university. Meals to celebrate the season. Meals with new friends, and meals with my oldest friends.
People gathered. Not just for meals, but to give, love and celebrate. Being a witness, let alone a participant of this is something I’ll always be grateful for. Tough things reminded me how important gathering with love is. Spectacularly planned or spontaneous, a gathering is a massive gift.
I looked for light. Light in unexpected places. When it commanded attention, I listened and captured. I let myself wander, going down paths I’ve gone down a countless times, as well as those that were new to me.
This was my summer. The summer after I graduated high school*. Now it’s over, and here begins the fall after I graduated high school. There is magic in my fingertips typing that. New recipes and normalcy will come soon enough, but for now, I wanted to celebrate this.
Tell me about your summer. (Or winter, for southern hemisphere friends!). What moments do you want to remember?
*Title courtesy of my dear friend N. Let’s bake together soon, okay?