Sunday, August 18, 2013

As August Settles In

As I walked the dog at midnight, the heavy darkness of an August evening was backlit by lovely moonlight filtered through high clouds.  The tall pine branches cast shadows across the moon, and the deep quiet reminded me that August is definitely here. 

This summer has been a disappointing one for me.  Hot, humid weather in July and a knee injury have kept me sidelined from my usual summer activities.  The garden desperately needs weeding; plans for daily walks with my little granddaughter never materialized, and I feel a bit of sadness to know that there are only three weeks left until school begins. 

However, I do so love August.  The early morning birdsong is subdued now, and darkness falls quickly and thickly in the evening as I sit on the porch.  My hydrangea bushes are heavy with their voluptuous blooms and the pepper and tomato plants are ripe on the vine.  Fields of sunflowers, purple loosestrife and goldenrod dot the highways.  It seems the world is filled with color and abundance.

There are early harbingers of autumn, though, as the ferns begin to turn a bit brown, stores are filled with notebooks, pencils, and back-to-school sales, and summer flowers begin to fade.  The carefree feeling of June -- with two months of sunshine and freedom ahead -- are now but a memory.  Suddenly, we must resign ourselves to the fact that summer is waning.  We plan get-aways and try to squeeze in all of the summer activities we can.  Soon we will be back to schedules and sweaters.

There is a peacefulness in these languid August days.  The excitement of early summer is replaced with a more quiet enjoyment.  Even though I have not accomplished many of my summer plans, and still cannot take Alivia for morning walks on the nearby rail trail as we had planned, I am content to savor the beauty of this month.  I see August not as an ending, but as a beginning -- autumn holds its own special pleasures, and as August wanes, September hurries in.

After a taste of cooler weather for the past week, the summer-lovers are happy to hear that warmer temperatures are returning.  There is still time for picnics, swimming, boating, camping, and all of the much-loved activities of summer.  The farmers' markets are filled with fresh vegetables for salads and grilling.  What can possibly taste better than a slice of fresh tomato topped with a bit of salt and some chopped basil leaves.  As steaks sizzle on the grill, we can sit on our decks and porches and savor these last weeks of summer pleasures.  But, as the gentle twilight of early summer changes to the earlier settling of heavy, quiet darkness in mid-August, we know in our hearts that autumn is waiting patiently in the wings -- carpe diem!!

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