In the introduction to A Dream of Summer: Poems for the Senuous Season, Mary Oliver writes "the heat makes of neighborhood a genuine thing, people are out on lawns or porches; they are exhausted, happy, beneficent, less ambitious than in any other season, and they are full of the beautiful cloudy stuff of dreams." She calls summer a slow season, languid, when nothing in nature is hurried or rushed.
I remember this, vaguely, from childhood. Days that stretched well past bedtime. Fields bursting with wildflowers that bobbed in the breeze. Stacks of library books on my bedroom floor. Lingering in front of the open freezer door after grabbing a popsicle. Bare feet and bicycles. Nothing to do, nowhere to be.
The times, they have a-changed.
Part of this is adulthood, the never-ending flood of responsibility that rushes at the same breakneck pace irrespective of seasonal rhythms. Part of this is living in Chicago, a city that seizes summer like prey, devouring and draining every last drop before the polar vortex returns. Most of this is the fact that I am publishing a book and having a baby at the same time.
Hey, I'm not complaining. Sure, it would be nice to lay in a hammock for three months with some kind of fruity drink and the 8th through 20th Harry Potter books (a girl can dream), but this whirlwind summer will go down in my record books as one of the best. I only wish I had more time (and energy) to write about it.
Cue the August Break! Last year I participated in this fantastic challenge orchestrated by Susannah Conway, and I'm looking forward to doing it again. Between preparing for book and baby, I haven't had a lot of time to shoot, so picking up my camera again will be a welcome outlet. I'm also hoping that words will accompany some of these images. The break starts tomorrow!! Stick with me this August and you'll undoubtedly get a peek at Kelley's Summer 2014: Warp Speed.