A Message from Jathan Fink, August 2015
August 3, 2015 Leave a comment
The long, lazy days of summer are in full swing, especially here in Texas where temperatures in Dallas/Fort Worth have reached 108 degrees in some places, and taking a walk is the equivalent of swimming underwater without a snorkel, the air is so thick with humidity. Even so, every time August rolls around, I can’t help but feel as though the magic of summer has slowly started to wane.
Maybe I feel this way because so many of my favorite things are about the end of summer, including the 1987 film, The Whales of August, featuring Bette Davis and Lillian Gish. This timeless story reminded us that while summers are always a good time to remember, they’re also a marvelous time to dream. Then there is the song “The End of August,” which Yanni featured on his 1997 album In My Time. I’ve always loved this melody, not only because it evokes so much emotion, but because even without words he managed to capture the essence of this special time of year.
Still, August delivers change, is kissed by chance, and ultimately, is rife with possibility. It’s that moment when all my teacher friends try to squeeze out a few more days of quiet and relaxation while parents and children simultaneously prepare to head back to school. In many ways, I guess we never outgrow the sense of expectation that seems to come with that event. Even now, I get into planning mode, particularly by the end of the month, figuring out which things I can still mark off my summer checklist before September arrives.
Summer in Texas also reminds me that even when conditions look bleak, or in our case, scorching hot, life still has a way of surprising us with little glimpses of something spectacular. Sometimes that may come in the form of wildflowers that pop up from the dry, cracked earth in the midst of August’s blistering heat. Other times, it is people who surprise us.
Last month, my wife and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, which is amazing to me. For each year that passes, we always find ourselves asking ‘Where did the time go?’ In previous years, we would celebrate with friends or family, but having just moved back to Texas, we really didn’t have anyone to mark the event with us. But then a wonderful thing happened that surprised us both. On our anniversary, someone we just met asked us to join him and his friend for dinner. We decided to go on the spur of the moment, and as we were waiting for our food to arrive, he asked how long we’d been married. When I told him it was 15 years that day, he insisted on buying our dinner to celebrate. The gesture caught us off guard and was totally unexpected, but it was also one of the kindest, most unwarranted gifts we had ever received. It reminded us that there truly are beautiful, genuine people in the world and they always come along when we least expect it.
The older I grow, the little surprises in life seem to consistently remind me of three things. First, life is precious. Second, family is complicated. And last but not least, we have to live with our hearts wide open to the possibilities of life. August always seems happy to remind me of all these little lessons. First, it is jam packed with reasons to celebrate, whether it is something as beautiful as friendship, as tasty as a root beer float, as giving as a humanitarian, or as loyal as a dog. Then there are the numerous wedding anniversaries for special friends (like Charles and Sandra Evans in Ohio) and family, including my Aunt Pam and Uncle James, that we like to commemorate each year.
On the work front, I’m still looking for my next big journalism gig. But in the meantime, I’m doing a bit of freelance web design, and working diligently on a story I think you’re going to love. More to come on that later.
Until next time, I hope you enjoy the rest of August, whether you’re at the beach, in the pool or sipping something cool beneath a shade tree, turning the pages of one last delicious novel before yet another summer draws to a close.