Did you ever want to clutch onto something as tightly as possible so that it couldn't get away, to ensure that it would linger a few moments longer, only to watch helplessly as it slipped through your fingers anyhow? For me, it seems that the more I try to control and plan and contain a moment or an opportunity, the more I find that it eludes me and gets away far more quickly than I ever could have imagined. This feeling always seemed to overwhelm me whenever I was put in charge of "camera duty" for one of my daughter's big moments. I so badly wanted to capture every instant, but I ended up so distracted with directing and lighting and producing and filming, that when the moment was over, I missed it. I missed the anticipation, the reactions, the joy, the squeals, and the mood. Later when watching that home movie or looking through those pictures, I knew they could never satisfactorily substitute for taking in the scene directly with my own eyes. A picture of a juicy red apple is a pale shadow compared to biting into that same sweet, ripe, delicious fruit, experiencing it with all of your senses and letting the juices run down your chin.
Today as we approach the middle of August, I find those same pangs of loss arising within me as summer slips through my hands. Try as I might to savor the sights and sounds, it has moved past me so quickly that it failed to leave a mark. Somehow in my longing to make this season special and memorable, I seemed to have missed out on the memories I was hoping to create. As summer approached I had dreamed of days spent going on adventures with my daughter, of swimming in our pool, of laughter and joy, and of taking a big bite out of life. Somehow in my trying to grab onto summer and in making it last, it snuck past me. It snuck past me with nearly 3 weeks of 100 degree weather that kept us inside. It snuck past me with a few weekends apart from my daughter. It snuck past me as I was looking down inside of looking up.
Now there are just a few weeks left until school starts, a few weeks more until the pool is closed. Already the days are getting shorter. I feel almost empty inside. That feeling like you just got sucker punched in the gut and you are desperately gasping for air to fill your lungs. I wish that I could rewind the last few months and have this opportunity over again. Better yet, maybe I should try a more productive approach and just enjoy the remaining weeks as best as I can. Just let go of the planning and worrying. Step out from behind the camera and just live.