Back when summers meant spending every weekend at our cabin up north, one thing was certain: The best day of the weekend was Sunday afternoon. Somehow it didn't matter if the previous days had been stormy or windy, hot or wavy, cloudy or muggy, we could count on, with certainty, that Sunday afternoon would be crystal clear. The lake would glisten and the sun would beckon as we carried up the beach toys, fastened the straps on the boat cover and loaded up the car with what always seemed to be more bags than what had come up with us in the first place.
Sunday afternoon beckoned us to stay just a little while longer. Sunday afternoon made us believe that days up there were always this good. Sunday afternoon left in us a longing to return to that little spot of paradise.
As I pack our bags from our extended summer stay Up North, the calendar in my soul says it's Sunday. We've had our share of cold. We've had our share of steamy. But today, as I prepare for our long trip south, the day is perfect. The flowers have never brighter, the sky has never been bluer. I hug my parents, longing to stay just one more day, never conditioned enough to the embracing and the letting go that comes with living far away.
On the plane, the westward sun will beat in our windows, just like those car rides home from the lake, creating in me a longing to return to those perfect summer moments.
While I'm comfortably dressed in my capris and summer sweater, I anticipate with dread the blast of southern heat that will hit my face like a jet engine roaring. Nothing will be comfortable then.
I receive an encouraging email from a southern friend, reminding me of peaches and Coke and Sweet Tea. The message is timely and I am reminded that embracing and releasing are a part of life. As I let go of one, God lets me reach out for another.
I look forward to my husband's embrace. Our family will be together. And soon summer will turn to fall, producing the perfect southern day.