Whether it's because of weeks of record heat, or due to one of the worst droughts in decades—there's a brilliant patch of yellow-gold gleaming amid the clump of green water willow upstream. The color appeared about the first of the month and has been spreading daily. I find it both eye-catching and unsettling.
Could this, in fact, be a precursor to autumn?
More to the point, isn't this way too early, with July not yet ended, to ruminate on such dubious thoughts?
Maybe. On the one hand, I've had enough of this baking and thirsting to do me for a lifetime. I don't like hot weather—and I'm especially not thrilled to be sweltering day and night for weeks on end. I don't enjoy observing flowers and shrubs wither and succumbed, or the lawn turn to bedstraw. And I truly hate seeing my beloved river so desperately shriveled—like watching an old friend with a fatal disease waste away.
Yet neither do I like the notion that another summer is winding down. While summer is my least favorite of the seasons, intimations of its approaching boundary whispers a soft reminder of time's relentless passage, a subtle evocation of sand pouring through an hourglass. Which prompts the sagacious afterthought that the span of a man—like that of a season—is ultimately finite.
Meanwhile, the golden patch grows…and amid my watching, I wonder.