…by Julie Clark Robinson

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer
day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float
across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.”
–John Lubbock

To normal people, a locust\’s cry probably goes unnoticed. It doesn\’t
consistently chat like the cricket does – a regular rhythm of
chirp…chirp…chirp. It doesn\’t entertain with a sporadic song like a
bird does. To a normal person, a locust is that big bug that sheds its
skin and freaks you out if you cross its abandoned path.

I tend to freak out too, at the locust, but for an entirely different
reason. In fact, this time of year, it seems that the random, lingering
wail of the locust is all I can hear. It sounds like “Hurry! Summer\’s
almost over and you haven\’t taken the kids to an amusement park yet.”
Or, “How is it possible that you\’ve pondered white, fluffy clouds and
counted the seconds between lightening bolts and claps of thunder, but
haven\’t noticed one single shooting star?”

The locust is my version of an alarm clock. The sound of one somewhere
in the distance jolts me out of a trance and reminds me that if I want
to take in all that summer has to offer, I\’d better get to it. So, like
any red-blooded woman, I decide that a good place to begin is my
closet. I look past the tank tops and capris that seem to have been my
uniform so far this summer and reach for the black & white polka
dot sundress that taunts me all winter long. So what if I\’m only going
to the grocery store today? The locusts remind me that it\’s high time
that I wear it.

Waaauh…. waaauh… waaaauh… waaauh…. 23 more evenings that my kids don\’t
have homework, how shall we spend them? Waaauh… waaauh… waaauh….
waaauh… 23 more days that we don\’t have to be anywhere in particular.

Waaauh… waaauh… waaauh…. waaauh… have I ridden my bike yet? Waaauh…
waaauh… waaauh…. waaauh… there\’s still time to read a (whole!) book by
the pool. And so on – the locust reminds me that our family\’s freedom
is fleeting with every humid minute that ticks by. I want to exhaust my
lofty options so that I am totally ready to surrender to the coziness
of autumn by Labor Day.

There are still more s\’mores to be toasted, more fireflies that need to
do time in a Prego jar. So, in the interest of living in the moment,
I\’m outta here. This month\’s column may be short, but the carefree days
(and nights) of summer suddenly feel shorter.

Action Exercise:
Don\’t panic. Just put your calendar in front of you so you can see what
you\’re dealing with. Then, make a list of the things you\’ll regret not
doing if you don\’t make time for them. Allocate time for these things
on the calendar and pick them off, one by one.