I breathed in the salt-infused air from our hotel on Cape Cod Bay, bidding farewell to summer from North Truro, a couple of miles outside of Provincetown. The glorious week with our extended family went by all too quickly.
This vacation was our last hurrah before summer ends.
The girls are a study in contrasts about fall’s imminent arrival. Chloe is excited to take high school by storm. “To be honest, I’m not that sad summer’s almost over. I like learning. I’m ready for school. I’ll be able to impress everybody with my amazing clothes. And my intelligence. Plus my charming personality. I have so many great traits to offer,” she jokingly remarked the other day as we strolled along the beach on the National Seashore.
On the other hand, when Sophie asked me how many more days she had left before the start of school, she groaned at my less-than-satisfying response. “Noooooo!” she sadly exclaimed before promptly giving me the stink-eye. Apparently, I am single-handedly to blame for our town’s school calendar.
I’ve experienced a disconcerting sensation that’s become more pronounced with age: time frequently seems tactile to me. I am so aware of its passage that I can practically see and hear, if not feel, the seconds ticking away, escaping my grasp, receding just out of reach.
Occasionally the seconds stand in place. I treasure those moments.
Mostly, however, the seconds are frustratingly fleeting, not unlike the many boats I watched disappear beyond the horizon as I typed these words.
Chloe and Sophie are now another season older. Next month Sophie will celebrate her 10th birthday and Chloe will experience her first day as a high school freshman, milestones that evoke a jumble of emotions – happiness, pride, anticipation for the future, angst, a tinge of sadness, more than a little nostalgia for the past…
I can’t stop the clock. The vacation started to end as soon as we arrived.
Happily, however, cameras are instruments of memory.
They capture childhood exuberance.
They document celebrations.
They record history.
They immortalize life.
And they freeze the passage of time.