I used to believe the best memories were made when things in life were their busiest. If events and activities were popping, then it seemed the memories would match. During the summer of 1979, I started swim practice daily at 6 a.m. I had bi-weekly aquatic events lasting four sweltering hours, start to finish. I ended up competing at three higher-level meets: county, district and state. It was a hopping summer doing a sport I loved. The following year, I spent the summer on the couch with mononucleosis, an infection leaving me beyond tired and peering out a window watching the world go by. It was miserable… or so it seemed.
Logic would say my memories from 1979 would be sharp and exacting. But, in fact, busyness coupled with the natural excitement of that summer left my memory banks foggy. Today, what I recall most were my chlorine-stained eyes and setting up diving blocks to the rising sun. Not so with 1980. The slower pace of my mono-summer had an opposite effect. That season translated, over time, into a fond serenity, even in the middle of some super cruddy circumstances. It’s as if there grew moments of contentment in the fact that I was forced to slow down.
I share this story because in mid-March Augusta was forced to slow down, and in a few short weeks we will be exiting summer. There are transitions ahead. Then, more transitions. We will adapt and stay flexible because that is what is needed. The back-to-school issue of Augusta Family looks different for 2020. But then again everything looks different this year. Our aim is to equip readers with relevant and informational articles about the next season. “The 2020 School Year, a Pledge to Flexibility” and “The Blueprint for Reopening Schools” are two of those features with this issue. Although the predictability of events around town is still uncertain, we crafted a “Remain Sane and Stay in the Game” calendar with suggestions for family adventures, easy recipes and fun activities for the months of August and September. The Great Day Trip Getaway feature is in response to the need we heard voiced from our community to take a break.
Yes, we are about to exit the longest summer many of us have ever experienced. Yet, I wonder what our memories will show us in 40 years after COVID-19? Will they, like those of my mono-summer, record a curious contentment, one forced by a break in life’s hectic pace?
Time will tell.
Until next issue, stay safe and flexible!
Photo by Randy Pace