Summer's last moments / by Christina Rosalie

In New Jersey this weekend the air was still warm. The mercury crept up to the low eighties; summer's last heat spreading out across the lawn. We played with the dog. Watching him zing out in crazy enthusiastic circles chasing his rubber toy. A flash of apricot and cream, I remember when we picked him out. New in our relationship--together just a year. We'd just moved into our first apartment, and Zeus was the naughty pup who uprooted the flower boxes. Now he tousles Bean with loving licks and spends his afternoons under the coffee table, his body limp with relaxation, his eyes rolled back.

The weather was warm enough this weekend to lounge in a tank top on the grass. To wear sunglasses, feet bare. To run along the canal for miles where the snapping turtles sit in spring, on narrow logs in clusters.

With Bean under the watchful eye of his grandparents, DH and I got to do things we never get to do---mountain bike for long hours on rugged trails, hopping roots, and wide logs, riding narrow planked pathways over wetland mud where in the spring, skunk cabbages bloom. Riding around in his parent's sports car, taking curves fast and giggling, listening to 80s tunes. Walking around town hand in hand, late, under lamplight eating pumpkin ice cream.

The weekend went like an exhalation. Almost unnoticed. I've always wanted to catch exactly when the seasons change. For weeks now, I've been writing about the feeling of fall in the air. And being here, a few latitude lines south of home, I'm certain these warm days will be the last this season. Almost bitter sweet, I realize my baby will be running about solidly on his own two feet next year, this time.

Isn't this how it often is? Moments full of sweetness pass before we truly glimpse them? So often we dwell on the times of sorrow, when frustration or grief poke their strange faces into our nighttime thoughts. We've grown accustomed, somehow, to the frantic diet of agitation that our national media spews forth.

Today, with the rapid-action feature on our new camera, and our dog, we tried to snare a few of these bright breathless moments, mid air, before they vanished with the evening sun.

Click on the picture for a slideshow.