With any necessary apologies and/or due credit to Mr. Rogers…it’s a beautiful day here on the riverbank. Really—a beautiful, beautiful day!
Yesterday and the day before were mostly quick changeovers between dark and light as on-and-off showers ruled. Fine days themselves while they lasted, even welcome. But now the sky spreads a vast canopy in Maxfield Parrish blue, with herds of puffy white clouds scattered about like grazing sheep. It’s also quite breezy and a bit cool, and as I watch the wind stirring through the huge leaves on tall sycamores, there’s no doubt whatsoever that fall is on the way.
This should come as no surprise if you’ve glanced at the calendar lately. August is almost over. And yes, I admit September is still officially considered three-quarters summer. Just not by me.
When I think “summer” I always think…June, July, August. I do not think…only a smidgen of June, but most of September.
Maybe this stems from childhood. For a kid, summer was both a season plus a state of mind and body. And it emphatically ended that wretched day when your parole was abruptly and cruelly revoked.
One moment you were enjoying the daily bliss of complete freedom—romping about Elysian woods and fields; the next, you were captured and unceremoniously hauled off to resume serving another nine-month chunk of unjust incarceration. As you hunched over a scarred desk, in a room that smelled of chalk and institutional disinfectant, not to mention those faint sour-sharp undertones of sweat and possibly puke—numb of soul, depressed, and fast developing a slaughter-lot mentality at the prospects ahead—there was not a particle of your being that believed in a continuing summer beyond your prison walls…even though parents and every other adult kept insisting that school is good for you and one day you’ll appreciate having an education.
Huh? I was learning plenty gamboling along the creek, collecting fossils, grabbing at frogs, squirming though willow thickets like a reptile!
Who cares about the Napoleonic Wars! Do I look French? Will learning about gerunds help me catch sunfish? And what’s the big deal about Shakespeare? I’d rather read Edgar Rice Burroughs and Mickey Spillane!
Okay…perhaps I got a bit carried away there. I didn't mean to digress. Suffice it to say I have a difficult time, even now, considering September as anything other than autumn. And all that aside, the fact of the matter remains…today—bright, cool, stirred by winds of change—was a genuine reminder that summer, no matter how you count it, is winding down.