A goal is a dream with a finish line. -Duke Ellington
This is Duke’s way of saying, “Deadlines help.” Anyone can dream, but we all need a little pressure to get to work to put feet on our vision and bring something into form.
Mortality is also a kind of finish line that reminds us that life is short and the time to birth our dreams is limited. Without that reminder, we get lazy and think that just maybe we’ll get to it tomorrow.
This on my mind as we prepare to leave our little slice of Northern Michigan paradise. Leave-taking is a small slice of mortality, the sense that all good things must end that makes our appreciation of the moment just a bit more vivid. These long days of daily swims in pristine lakes, bike rides on the rolling hills of back roads through the cornfields, the games and chatter and laughter with my two grandchildren and evening dinners on the deck looking out at the sunset on Lake Michigan. Precious all and in some ways, the four weeks—one of my longest visits to this family haven—have flown by too fast.
There is much ready to welcome me back in San Francisco—my piano, a quiet house that stays clean, my kitchen and Trader Joe’s and as of now, a rare heat wave that may just hold so I don’t return to fog. But I know there is much I will miss, much summer sweetness stored in my bones that has renewed me and fortified me for the months that lie ahead. And so I will cross this little finish line filled to the brim with gratitude.
But first, three more days of vacation!
PS And speaking of mortality, I wrote a different version of this that I weirdly lost and had to try to re-create. But not a single sentence returned to me and I believe there were some good ones lost. Aargh!