Well, August ... here you are.
In summers past (most of them, actually) the months simply seemed to run together and then I found it abruptly ending with a scurry for back-to-school. This summer feels quite different.
Likely this might be due to having just returned from a week-long trip 300 miles north to cooler climate, but the shadows are unmistakeably longer across the grass. The herbs and tomatoes seem to have doubled in our absence under the care of our neighbor's magic organic touch. Our tiny harvest grows near.
Last night we slept with windows wide; atypical of the need to counter the persistent humidity around Washington, DC. No fans, no AC, just the mild outdoor air and the sounds of tree-cicadas with the occasional thump of a passing car stereo bass.
A shift is near in the seasons and I feel one dwelling within me as well. It's a healthy restlessness; a desire for a more substantive life with less stuff. Very literally.
One of the most distinctive parts of this trip was a completely unintended glimpse at a two Amish communities and their simple way of life.
The little bungalow (above, pictured behind the main farmhouse) sits just down the hill from my brother's place. It was recently vacated and even from the gravel road I could see straight through the front windows out to the side field. My imagination went wild with a vision of its interior; raw wide-plank floors swept as clean as could be and line-fresh linens throughout. This place, a day's work outside, a good book and a cold drink [plus a mac-book + cable connection, of course] could complete me, I felt. In witnessing this homestead there was a tugging on my heart.
It's always the highlight of these visits with my Mom and siblings and in-laws to spend time just with them. That family connection once again fortified. So the fuel to my imagination and my deepest desires was a complete surprise bonus.
A move to the country isn't necessary. It's possible to bring these principles and ideals to our lives, I believe, starting right where we are. Right here, just outside DC. It's not the location, after all, that was pulling me. It is the feeling. The simplicity. A calling of what those bare, raw essentials are in my own life.
What remains is the wonder of how I might apply that longing into my daily world. It's straight to the inspiration file for this thought, with a swift overriding of other imagery that had a lesser hold.
If you are interested, you can view a couple more images of Amish homesteads on my flickr page.