Yesterday we prepared for storms. Branches were tidied away and young tomato plants were staked for stability. Overhead the trees echo with bird activity, they too are battening down the hatches for an onslaught of rain. Soon, Autumn will follow and although the cool change will be welcomed, this Summer will stay with us beyond the last hydrangea blooms and juicy nectarines.
In a fog of humid days and late pregnancy we packed up our belongings and moved to a new home. And with Christmas lights twinkling we welcomed our third baby into the world. Time slowed during those days as we sipped juices, planted seeds, and explored our new house; beds were most often left unmade. It was here nestled in this slowness that we quietly fell in love with our new girl and embraced life as a family of five.
Darren took an extended break from work and for his support and constant companionship over these last weeks I will be ever grateful. But time is drawing near for him to return to his day to day rhythm, and me to mine. There's been fretting and list making and much thought on how I'll cope with three babies, school runs and keeping our home machine ticking away - many hours sitting feeding a baby will do that. Perhaps it's child number three, perhaps it's age, but this time around I'm so much kinder on myself. I've learned that rhythms present themselves gradually without force no matter how much we will them into being, and just when you've become attached to them, they change.
I know that some days everything will fall into place like a perfectly timed juggling act and I will feel elated and a touch cocky. But on others... I will drop every ball and fall into bed deflated and overwhelmed. Time has shown me that there will be no end to my list of "to do's" and the business of our days is a new normal I must adjust to. And in the blink of an eye it will pass - all of it. My greatest challenge won't be the juggle, it will be to recognise and savour the beautiful bits.
These last days of Summer, I bid them farewell with much fondness.