Sunday, September 20, 2009

Summer's over

I spent the last days of summer cleaning up and saying goodbye. The river rafts are stored. My two best guys are headed out. The trees outside are changing.

Tomorrow, it'll be 90 degrees. This is the longest, hottest summer I've ever seen here. But the tops of the trees outside my window are marooning, so I know these record highs won't last forever. Soon, the leaves will change entirely before disappearing. [so leaf subsides to leaf]

This time last year, I was so relieved to see the red leaves. I couldn't wait for summer to end. I had spent the season crying, mourning everyone who had left.

The year before that, I was bewildered. The South does not have trees like the ones here. One day everything's green, the next brown. Then the trees fall bare, and the streets crunch underneath you when you walk. But in the northwest, you can see every gradation. There are so many shades of green to go through! And yellows! And reds! And orange! The brown comes, but slowly.

I spent that summer-fall transition (2007, I mean) with a point-and-shoot camera trying to capture each hue. I barely noticed summer had ended, I was so obsessed by the colors.

But this summer, it's different. The marooning tops shocked me. Already? I thought.

I'm not sure why it surprised me. Summer felt over a month ago. I went to Texas, came back, and the summer I had known was gone. No more river. No more late-night, post-work hang-outs. No purple hydrangeas. No girl.

So I focused on work. I started reading non-stop. I amped up my biking, even bought that new bike. It was great, but it didn't feel the same. The past month felt like a liminal space season.

But even that held something. For me, this summer changed everything. I spent so much of it outside, so much really living. I met so many new people, grew closer to some I knew already. I feel healthier and happier than I have in a long time. Summer's over -- and hell, I'm not stoked to see the gray, not stoked to see Ryan leaving for Africa -- but I know I spent this record-hot summer right.

So check it out. How I spent my twenty-sixth summer:

Summer 2009 from Casey Parks on Vimeo.

A good night, every night

PS: I kind of never want to hear this song again. But for a time there, it really did sum everything up. As CJ wrote to me, "It was a good night, every time."

PPS: If you want to see how I spent other seasons, check out: Spring 2009
Winter 2008/09
Winter 2007/08
Fall 2007
Summer 2007
watch closely and you can see Randi's hair grow!

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