Oh, August….

I have a dear friend who always welcomes me to new months, new days and new weeks.  Despite the fact it happens over technology and to all of her friends, it still feels warm and personal.  Today’s post read, “Would like to welcome you to August!! She has embraced August watching the sunrise over the gulf of Mexico, riding the ferry, while watching playing dolphins alongside in the water.”  How can you not LOVE that kind of warm welcome to August?!

Last night, I happened to be up after the clock struck 12 midnight and before heading to bed, I ran around battening down the hatches, closing windows, dead bolting the doors and CHANGING THE CALENDARS!  It’s officially AUGUST!  And I thought to myself, “Well, Hello August, indeed.”  It’s a month I’ve been planning for and pining after for months.  We have two different beach adventures and a camping weekend with church.  This week marks the end of work for me and hubby will take some vacation time amid ramping up for fall and all it entails.

Usually August means buying school supplies (and multiple trips to Target, Office Depot and Staples to pilfer supplies for my classroom at 1 cent and 25 cent bargain moments).  August alerts me that routines of fall are just around the corner.  This year, there are unknowns that leave me unsure.  Kindergarten teacher and placement to unfold.  A child entering the very public school system I love (and sometimes fear).  A younger one edging on the way to the illustrious TWO.  And oh, even the fringes of age two are “festive”.  Knowing there are many special events to be present for, attend to, plan around, yet wondering where that perfect part time job lies for me.

Oh, August…..you are filled with the yin and yang.  The sweet, slow end to summer.  Days to come spent solely in pursuit of sand, sunsets over the ocean, family time and finding the best burritos California has to offer.  And also, days of early alarms, backpacks, lunch boxes, crisp new school supplies, wonderings of new friends to be found and bonds to be forged.

I watched Jane Eyre (the 90s version) last week when Matt was gone on a camping trip with the high schoolers.  {I have to save those “time period” movie viewings for instances when he’s out for the night!}  I had never read the book and yet have always wanted to know more of her character.  And what a character she was.  Her life story, the people that cross her path, the events which shaped her life story are harrowing.  Haunting.  Upsetting.  And yet, she comes to a point where she sees that she can be independent and exert her free will.  She boldly states, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.”


I watch my own boys and even myself and see these same workings unfolding.  The constant need for independence, to DO IT MYSELF!!!!! (not that that is EVER cried or exclaimed or implied in OUR house….).  The opposite pull to companionship and togetherness and union.  I love how the boys want to do everything together but simultaneously and masterfully on their own without help from each other or an adult.  And yet, they run back for one another.  Sometimes to bond “sleeping” on a Trader Joes bag.  Odd?  Yes, but we all do it too.

 Jane Eyre felt this sentiment as well.  In case you aren’t familiar with her story, I won’t spoil the ending and her own push and pull with  Edward Rochester.  It was this reminder that our August days are filled, as always, with this same movement towards and away.  The author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, expressed her own philosophy on these “August moments” in light of women’s roles:

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

So as we walk over the precipice into August, I wonder what it will hold.  What memories will be formed while playing in the sand, which classroom number my eldest will be assigned to come August 22nd.  I wonder if I will find a job or if this season is not meant to hold “formal” employment.  I look forward to celebrations, conversations to be had,  yummy food to make and consume.  And despite all the wonderings and unknowns, I am sure that each day, no doubt each HOUR, will involve the guarantee of these yin and yang moments.  Times where we push away, longing for independence and clarity coupled with times of clinging, relationship and need for community.  Looking forward to reflecting on it all in 31 days.

Photo: Pedicure, Jane Eyre & sleeping Sally.  Perfect end to a busy & full day. http://instagr.am/p/NkehSPk-Q3/

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