"For it's a long, long while, from May to December,
but the days grow short when you reach September ..."
It's hard to believe that we are heading into the last week of August. Even though Fall does not officially start for a few weeks, most folks look at this time as the actual end of summer, when the kids start back to school and the days grow cooler. Where I live in the northeast, the early mornings begin to start off very foggy right about now, a chilly mist that burns off by around 8 or 9 o'clock. The air, too, takes on a different feel, a different smell. When I was a little girl, I used to tell my mom that it "smelled like time to go back to school."
Where did this summer go? I don't know if it is because this summer in our area was very wet and cooler than normal - I don't think we had more than a couple of days that actually reached 90 - or because the older I get, the faster the seasons seem to come and go. All I know is that one minute I was waiting for the buds on the trees to put in an appearance, and the next minute I looked in amazement as the first tinge of color appeared on the distant hill tops. It felt like summer and I had been speed dating this year. Yesterday when I went out to put my recyclables in the bin behind our complex, several dried, yellow leaves came floating down to land on my head. Sigh!
I have no doubt that we will have a last surge of summer weather before autumn officially gets here, a taste of Indian Summer, as it's called. Still, something tells me that autumn will settle in early this year, not that I'm complaining. Autumn is my very favorite season of the whole year and with its arrival comes all things pumpkin: coffee, muffins, pies, you name it - if it's pumpkin, it's mine! Still, it's always sad to see summer come to an end. It takes me back to my youth when summer spelled freedom, and when it ended, so did my freedom, or, at least that's what it felt like.
I remember one end of August in particular some years ago when I took a late-season trip to the beach. There was literally no one there except for a few die-hards and the locals who were finally enjoying their surroundings without all of the crowds and noise. Standing at the shoreline with my toes in the sand, even the ocean seemed a little sadder, a little lonelier, without the excited shouts of the children splashing and building sand castles, and the music from the boardwalk carrying out over the waves. Can an ocean feel sadness? I wonder.
So I say good-bye to August this week, and to summer in general. Next week my precious "almost 11 year old" granddaughter (she would be insulted if I didn't say that) starts junior high. Where did all of those years go? I expect they went the same way as the waves at the beach and the summer fun, into my book of memories.
And so it is.