I, for one, was surprised and delighted when I turned the calendar page to reveal the month of June. Surprised because I have precious little recollection of what transpired during May. I mean, something had to happen, but what? Then I opted to feel delighted because I love a clean slate, even if it's in the form of a month without hatch marks crossing out already-lived days.
Simple pleasures, friends. Simple pleasures.
Before I turn the calendar page, though, I sometimes regard that messy past month and think, "That is my life. Those days I crossed off? Those were days I just lived." So what did happen during May?
Well, in a flurry of grading, I finished the four college classes I taught during the spring semester, then I painted a room, then we rented our house for graduation weekend, then I ran a half-marathon, then we dismantled our downstairs living space to install new flooring, then we celebrated three family birthdays, then I started teaching my summer class, then my parents visited from out of town, then I succumbed to a strange head cold that teased me by letting me feel better for a day before dragging me down into a tailspin of congested haziness again, then I actually recovered, then we hosted multiple dinners at our house for students, then we had picnic lunches at each of my daughters' schools, then grading for my summer class began in earnest.
And then we flipped the calendar to June.
With all those day-to-day activities and moments, I rarely wrote here. I've thought about this. Sparse posting is bittersweet because my life makes most sense when I write. (This month, in fact, marks the sixth full year that I've blogged. I don't love that I've recently hovered in a season when there's a week or two-week-long gap between posts.)
Still, these intermittent blogging gaps remind me of a story that a student once told me as we discussed narrative, and I'll share with you here. A family's dog had run away, so it seemed, and they were beside themselves with concern. A friend encouraged them: "Don't think of it as running away; think that your dog is on a great adventure. When he's ready to come home, he will."
The same goes for me. If it ever seems like I've temporarily run away from writing, know that looks can be deceiving. I'm simply on an adventure. I'm dreaming up DIY house projects (I can't wait to share them!), or meeting with students (summer session is moving briskly), or dragging my children to garage sales (oh, the finds at the sales! oh, the groans from the children!), or teaching myself to twirl a baton (true story), or re-reading the Harry Potter series (just finished book three last night), or cozying up on the couch beside my husband (no explanation needed), or frenetically attempting to finish All. The. Things. on my to-do list before school releases my kids into the glories of summer vacation next week (wish me luck).
Life is meant for adventure and living. And, for me, life is also meant for writing about those adventures and days lived -- those messy, crossed-off squares on the calendar that sometimes need to be crystallized in words so they're not entirely forgotten.
I'm so glad that you, dear reader, join me here as I write. Even if there's a brief gap, I'll never be gone for long. I'm just gathering stories, and I always return home.