We’re about to slide into August and I’ve barely felt summer’s bliss at all. Oh, moments of it – a couple trips the river as my tanned legs can attest, a few streaks of small and consistently fun surf. But the kids had summer school, so the daily grind of getting breakfast made and them into the car by 7:45 a.m. continued through the month of June. After an exceptionally long rainy season during which May resembled January on the ocean, the swell’s scarcely dropped below 8 feet it seems – which wouldn’t be so bad, if that 8 feet were accompanied by some light south winds and a decent interval instead of being relentless wind slop. Yes, I should surf anyway.

Meanwhile in further evidence that some unseen force keeps the scales of my life balanced with good luck on one side and ongoing struggle on the other, as my work life has grown more fulfilling, more engaging and all around more rewarding, troubles have expanded in my domestic scene. Not the usual troubles – what to make for dinner or finding that we’re out of toilet paper or losing track of the bank account altogether – but Bobby in the hospital, the animals aging inconveniently, teenagers behaving like teenagers despite my best attempts and people who should know better behaving even worse.

Like most people, I always envisioned creating a home filled with joy, beauty and sanctuary. We certainly have a beautiful home, although I’ve scarcely time to attend to it lately. We’re surrounded by beauty, too, in the form of the ocean, dunes, forests, rivers, wildflowers and so many friends. But sanctuary has been harder to come by, peace a struggle to find. Complain-y and vague? Yes. It’s a mood brought on by too many specifics to list. I’d like to shake it.