The Bygone Days of Summer
“Summer afternoon- summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Henry James
I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today and thought I would reflect on our recent summer. I love summer. I have never been one of those moms who is ready for school to start. I love the late warm nights and slow lazy mornings of summer. I might live in an eternal summer if I could. For my past ten years of parenting, thoughts of summer have conjured words like sun, beach, peaches, cook-outs, cousins, grandma’s house, lake, camp. This year however, my summer memories hold words like goats, mud, and babies. Thankfully, it still also holds memories of cousins and beach and sun!
“Summer” in Kenya is very different. For starters, there isn’t really a seasonal summer. Being in the southern hemisphere, the months of June through August are actually our cooler months. Now “cool” is relative, as we almost always have sunny days with warm temperatures reaching near 80 degrees. In this way, our weather here is kind of like a perpetual enjoyable summer, without the sticky humidity of my US summers. So here, we define “summer” in terms of our break from school. And we did take a break from school. On our first day after finishing school, we greeted Heath’s sister and family for a visit. This started a summer of experiencing Kenya with and through a stream of visitors…family, friends, pastors, and short-term medical staff. We helped mud houses, colored and painted with orphans, held babies, took walks through the countryside, visited with Kenyan friends, and took safaris. We were so fortunate and blessed to be able to share bits and pieces of our lives here with friends, family, and visitors. I am thankful that we have memories with these special people in our new home. We hope that their visits here let them connect more with us in our new life, and even more so, than it will give a bigger and fuller and more real picture of God…as God of the universe and God of all people.
I read a quote somewhere, “Some of the best memories are made in flip-flops.” I would have to agree, especially since in Kenya, flip-flops are year-round! (Although my girls might argue that the best memories are made in bare feet!) So even though our carefree days of no school and many visitors have ended for now, our flip-flop-memory-making days continue…