The second day of summer

(Transcribed from written pages, a couple hours later ...)

I'm sitting on a hillside at Donner Park, watching the sunset on the second day of summer. I usually visit this park on the first day of summer to watch the sunset and reflect, but there was no sunset to watch last night because it was cloudy to the west. There have hardly been any watchable sunsets this month leading into the longest day of the year -- I've already lamented about the bad weather, and more complaining will be forthcoming in another post.

I ran the Wasatch Back over the weekend and had a blast. The relay provided a great ending to an otherwise rough week. But, for now, those are topics for other posts.

Today, I did take time to reflect, not here watching the sunset, but at Eldest's soccer camp this morning. He went to this camp last year for two different weeks, at the same park as 2008. He would play soccer, while Littlest would cavort at one of the two playgrounds (one in the park, one in the adjacent school).

So we were back at 11th Avenue Park for the first time in 10 months. After Eldest started camp, Littlest and I went to the first playground, and the flood of memories, starting with the concrete bench/ledge on which I sat watching him last year, rushed back into my brain. Then the swings he couldn't resist (not baby swings, either, he did everything to hold on last year but was fine in 2009). Then the trail we walked along past the tennis courts. Then the school's playground, which partly was being replaced when we were there last year. Everything wasn't deja vu, but more a sense of "We were just here."

But we weren't just here -- we were here 10 months ago. Maybe it seemed so recent because this soccer camp was part of our routine for two weeks last summer. It just seemed so quick. And then it dawned on me -- it's not supposed to be slow. This concept is something I've known all along, but this morning at 11th Avenue Park, it was hammered home. I look back at the last year, all the joys, tears, triumphs, struggles and laughter, and wonder how we crammed it all in. And how it went so fast.

Perhaps there's no way to slow it down, as much as I wish I could. We are blessed with two wonderful boys, but they are going to grow up before we know it. Almost a year has already passed since that last soccer camp. It was almost an instant. But it was still a year. The key -- and I'm sure I've postulated this before on this blog -- is to not wast the year; to look back and say "Wow, a year went by so quickly! Wow, what a year we had."

The sun just dipped behind Antelope Island and out of my view. This is the fourth consecutive year I've come to Donner Park to watch the sunset before it starts heading southward across the sky again. The first time I came was in 2006, and reflecting about the three years since, I think about how much has changed, how much has stayed the same, how more amazing life has become, and how much more amazing I want it to be. And I hope when I come back to this hillside next summer, if I think "Wow, a year went by so quickly!", I follow it up with "Wow, what a year we had!"


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