the golden hour and the end of summer

September 5, 2014 |  Category:   family life Seattle & the NW travels






The golden hour is usually stunning wherever you are, but we had some really good ones out West. We ended our trip with a spectacular sunset on the pier and watched the sun disappear behind the mountains (we always try to end our trips out west with a water view and a sunset). Our time out here for me was bittersweet. My brother talked of wanting to move to Seattle in the last few months of his life. We talked about how nice it would be if we all eventually ended up in the same area, all of us old and retired sitting on lawn chairs with our garden gnomes, eating blackberry cobbler. I really wish he had made the move and I thought about what could have been as we watched the sunset. A fitting end, really, to summer.


Now back at home with school finally in session and September upon us, summer isn’t letting go quite so easily. It’s been hot – hotter than it’s been all summer – and while I’m not necessarily in a rush to usher in Fall, the weather does seem to contradict everything that Fall represents. I didn’t think I wanted summer to end, but now that September is here, I’m feeling that restlessness and surge of motivation that seem to surface this month every year. Also, boots. I love sandals, but I can’t wait to wear boots. Oh, the frivolous things.
So, along with all this seasonal motivation comes along this feeling that maybe the fog of summer is starting to lift. It’s like this: I woke up one day and realized that I didn’t have that weird and sudden social anxiety around people and friends anymore. I started to think again about project ideas that I abandoned late May when everything came apart. I still think about my brother everyday, but it feels less like a dark cloud even though it’s still an empty hole. I suppose this is progress. The time warp of summer was such a strange experience and I floated like a ghost for 3 months without ever really touching the ground. Now that I’m much more present, the stuff that I put aside still remains. All the big questions about life and work are looming large again. I think I’m finally ready to face them though.

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  • Emm September 5, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Jenna, I just wanted to say again what I’ve said in comments before, that I really enjoy your writing. You are very good at it. It’s especially enjoyable because you put everyday life and simple human experience into words. Sometimes you say that you don’t know why you do it. So I wanted to say that I enjoy it, and if you choose to keep doing it, I’ll be reading. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jenna September 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Thank you Emm. It means a lot to hear this.

  • Paige September 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Authenticity is what connects….thanks for being so very honest.

    • Jenna September 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Thank you Paige.

  • Rain M September 6, 2014 at 10:31 am

    hey jenna, glad to read that you are feeling more like your old self. hoping that things get better as time passes.

    • Jenna September 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Yeah, I suppose time does make things better, slowly. But also know that there will be those dark days sometimes too.

  • sarah | little house pantry September 6, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Glad you had such a refreshing visit out west. Maybe some day we’ll welcome you to the northwest for good. There’s a great bakery on Lopez Island that could use your expertise I’m sure… (p.s. I’m also excited for boots 🙂 )

    • Jenna September 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Yes, I hope someday!

  • Bobbi September 6, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Glad you are starting to heal. I lost my Mother 17 years ago and it was really hard but does get better with time.

  • blandine September 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I am glad to hear things are a bit easier, I guess knowing that easier times are still possible will help you for the down-days (hope this doesn’t sound like I am thinking that your life is back to normal/time to move on/that kind of crap …it’s difficult to find the right words, especially in a foreign language).

  • Keva September 7, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Been reading for years and I love your perspective on things, the thoughtfulness in your writing. The Seattle pictures inspired me to finally say hello, as I live a mile or so from the photo of Alki beach you posted. Wishing you all the best.

  • susan // fleurishing September 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Happy to hear you are beginning to heal from your loss. xo

    I’m with you…I always feel so inspired at the end of summer, for whatever reason. It’s tough to beat a west coast golden hour.

  • Steph Nelson September 15, 2014 at 12:01 am

    I lost my mom in the month of June and always refer to the summer of her death as the lost summer. It was like a time warp happened and I have no idea where the time went. Hang in there girl, you may never forget but you will learn how to live again, albeit it with a new perspective.