At the end of Sunday School each June - when I was a kid - our rabbi would give us students a summer vacation charge:
Make at least one new friend.
Read at least one good book.
Take at least one long walk alone.
It always stuck with me. And I guess I've always followed his advice.
I made a new friend in Portland this summer. I read several good books, and I added so many steps to my Fitbit that it keeps dinging me with heartfelt congratulations. So I did good. The rabbi would be proud of me.
Being in Portland gives me space to breathe and think and wander and rejuvenate. It also gives me long stretches of time to work on personal projects. This summer I wrote a children's book. I trashed it and started over several times. I learned a lot about patience and perseverance and how important the creative "process" is. I made some drawings and some photographs. I rented and played with a different lens. I tried watercolor pencils for the first time.
I am going to be 60 next week, but in so many ways I feel like I'm just getting started. There's so much to learn.
I'm sorry to see the summer go. It was a good one for me. I hope yours was good, too.