No matter how much sunblock I slather on my family, August hits and we’re deeply bronzed. The air is thick, our hair streaked golden, and our skin semi-permanently coated with sea salt. We’re waterlogged from dock jumps into the bay, and it all feels wonderful. Our favorite month is here.
Throughout the year, friends often comment on the sheer amount of things my husband and I do with our kids. From events and programs to restaurants and breweries, we’re always on the go, but like clockwork, this month we take it easy and live it slow; slow summer, if you will, and something happens this month that I wait for all year long — we become obsessed with the little things.
In these moments that we’re fully tuned into and present for we simply notice more. Like the trickle of pink juice dripping down our arms and chins as we devour copious amounts of watermelon barefoot in the backyard. Our conversations filled with theories on what happens when you swallow the seeds. You know the discussion, “perhaps a watermelon will grow in your belly!” My two-year-old’s eyes grow wide with wonder while my nearly six-year-old shuts that down fast; “produce needs sunlight to grow.” Okay, smart kid.
We take in the smell of salt-filled air and the sounds of whipping sails as we watch the Wednesday Night Sailboat Races from the New Suffolk Waterfront. We each pick our favorite boat based solely on the colorful sails and place bets on which we think will win. We skip rocks into the bay and fill our shell bags with dainty beach finds, each one more special than the next. We picnic or dine locally on the waterfront as the sun sets in the sorbet sky.
And we hunt, for buried treasure, that is. We begin our mission purchasing a Greenie Supply & Tackle map at Port of Egypt Marine. The screeches of excitement from all fill our ears as we untangle the riddle with anticipation. Leisurely trekking through each point on the map we persist in our hunt for the buried box with shovels in hand. Tiny grains of sand fill our shoes as we begin to dig.
Our August is jam-packed not with things and events but with little moments that are etched into our souls. My hope is that one day when my children are grown adults enjoying late summer with intentions of their own, they stroll past a sailboat in a coastal town and remember the smell of the air, the taste of sweet summer fruit and the slow living of August.
Michelina Da Fonte