Summer is over. Yes, I realize the arrival of fall is still a couple weeks away and yes, it’s still hot, humid, and semi miserable outside. But still, it’s after Labor Day. By most accounts, summer has ended.
And I’m not the least bit sad about that, either.
Because my summer was amazing.
Not the best ever.
But awesome… real… alive.
This was the kind of summer that allowed me to spend lots of time with my family, especially with my two older kids, Elias and Adeline. But all of us spent lots of time together—quality time, lazy time, silly time, sometimes, too much time. But time… lots of time.
And we did a lot of fun stuff. As you might know, my wife is basically the Alpha & Omega of natural family event and activity planning. For the second year in a row, she and the kids made a summertime bucket list. Now, I’m not usually a fan of list making—I find them mostly to be guilt-inducing recipes disguised as treasure maps—but the summertime bucket list was pretty awesome as it encouraged us to do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do. And yes, even though we didn’t accomplish every item on the list—which did cause us to feel a wee bit guilty—we did do most of the activities and for the most part, we had fun and we made some good memories.
I also carved a lot this summer. For just a little more than two years, I’ve been wood carving. I started out carving mostly basswood. But last summer, I discovered cottonwood bark and I’ve been carving only cottonwood bark ever since. Cottonwood bark is a very soft wood to work with, but it’s also quite temperamental. Sometimes it’s very easy to carve and other times, it’s so soft that it falls apart in your hands. Moreover, there’s only so much you can do with cottonwood bark. And yet, for some odd reason, it’s limitations are what I’m drawn to. There’s something about working within the medium’s boundaries that excites me.
For a long weekend in July, I hung out with like 10 of my closest friends in the mountains of North Carolina. It had been a long time since I’d had the chance to do that and we had an absolute blast. We talked, ate, drank, and laughed the entire time we were together. It was amazing. So energizing. Relaxing. Life giving. I’m hopeful that my friends and I will be able to make that something we try to do annually. Because I think all of us needed that time…
This summer was also the beginning of a new journey for me as I started to focus more on photography as opposed to writing. While I’ll always write in some capacity, photography has, since 2009, been a creative outlet for me, something that I’ve long believed I’d enjoy doing professionally. And I wasn’t wrong. The last three months have been a rollercoaster of photography experiences, scenarios that have fed my creative soul, challenged me professionally, and offered me numerous opportunities to be around people. While there have been a couple of photography jobs that have certainly been less than thrilling, I’ve learned something from every experience. But most of all, I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to see and experience and photography people’s most amazing—usually some of their happiest—life moments. (If you’re in the Nashville area and would like to book a session, email me at MatthewPaulTurner@gmail.com).
It’s been a good summer. But I’m not sad that it’s over. I’m excited for what the new seasons will bring…
What did your story entail this summer? What are you looking forward to in the weeks ahead?