The sun dips below the horizon, releasing water colors of blue, purple, and orange bleeding across the vast expanse of sky. The dark outline of the trees dances and sways in front of the tapestry of changing colors. A bird, as black as the night that will soon come, flutters across the sky. The colors spread until they fade, giving way to the prelude of a starry night. This magical moment, right before the black tree silhouettes blend into the night sky, tucked into the darkness for the duration of the night, evokes pure marvel at the sheer beauty of God’s creation. Although this wonder will soon fade away, a dusky memory dotted with silhouettes of birds and towering trees, will be hidden within my mind, aching for me to return, to remember God’s provision, as the magical silhouettes of summer fade.
Her mouth opens, lips parted, turning upwards into a grin. Her once fully-toothed mouth, reveals a rectangle-shaped gap where her bottom two teeth used to reside. This was a first for our summer—notifying the “tooth fairy” and also reminding this magical being not to forget the special “payment” tucked underneath our sleeping daughter’s princess-covered pillow. How I never want to forget that toothless grin.
He runs in front of me like a two-year old does, full of passion and also uneasiness, making my heart flip flop as I expect him to fall, his head scraping the pavement. It doesn’t come. Instead, he turns around, over his shoulder, eyes big and bright, “Come with Simeon,” he says. All it takes are those three words and I follow him, even if to just marvel at a bug scurrying across the sidewalk.
Their feet spring, pound, and jump across the rubbery mulch of our playground jungle of the day. The minute we hit the monkey bars, ladders, and slides, they are instantaneously whisked away to another world, their imaginations fueling every step. I watch. Sometimes alone and sometimes in the community of other mamas. The simplicity of play, grounds me, all other worries set aside.
“Help, Simeon,” his tiny voice interrupts the anxieties that swirl inside me. “Help, Simeon, with sandals.” My voice emerges, snapping me back into the present moment, “Of course, buddy.” I crouch next to him, gently taking his foot in my hand and sliding it into his blue padded sandal. My eyes notice the ankle tan lines from hours of outside summer play. This moment swells with relishing— how I want to have this posture of service in my motherhood and how I never want to forget that little ankle tan line.
The raw green beans, slightly damp from rinsing, make a tiny pop as I break and toss them into a pot in preparation for dinner. This almost unnoticeable snap, symbolizes God‘s provision through our small backyard garden. Help me rehearse His faithfulness of the long summer days as the days grow shorter and the nights longer.
Smooth chocolate and vanilla ice cream dolloped in a cup and dotted with rainbow sprinkles sits perched on the table in front of two wide brown-eyed kids anxious to taste the sweet treat. A red plastic spoon dips into its goodness and quickly finds its home in Reese’s mouth. Simeons’s cool velvety chocolate ice cream barely makes it into his mouth, before dripping down, leaving a melted ice cream goatee sliding down his chin. We celebrated with ice cream this summer— passing stages in swim lessons, counting to 100, and the beginning of school. Each delicious frozen bite, drips with God’s provision in each of these celebrations.
Summer memories often feel like these elusive dark outlines, gone too quickly, before fully enjoyed. But maybe, in these words, the memories will remain, forever captured, illuminated, and cherished. Slowly savoring these silhouettes, like my tastebuds take in the rich flavor of roasted sweet potatoes, bacon, and apples to usher in fall, will hopefully help me stop and gaze at the silhouettes as the days grow colder and the nights longer. And I’m doing so, to remember that even as the darkness draws near, God’s provision is always found.