• Shana Ritter

Farewell Summer

This past week there were days of heat interspersed with rain. Then just the other morning, clear and lovely the cicadas in full chorus, I felt it. The very first hints of fall. It was something in the air, some tinge of coolness, a few leaves drifting down a few turning yellow in the upper branches. I know it’s just a prescient glimpse of what’s to come.  We have almost a whole month of summer left. Still  it’s not the summer I think of when I think of summer. Sure, there are hot days ahead, grass to mow, brambles covering the footpaths in the woods, but we are tipping towards autumn. Summer was a blink of an eye this year.

It’s not just the natural world. Children have already gone back to school, college students are arriving, people are asking how was you summer? Short I answer. What summer I’m thinking. There were a few glorious days floating on the pond, visiting grandkids up at dawn to fish, earlier on the first sightings of lightening bugs, and before that the expectation for slower days, longer nights, time expanded beyond schedules.

That expansion never seemed to happen. The languidness of summer, that sense of time out of time has been disappearing  over the last five years and this year I think it was finally gone.  Work has an ebb and flow that has nothing to do with the season. Schools go back earlier and earlier. Travel is put off. Summer it seems is disappearing.

Oh, it’s hot enough for days on end, but it’s not the weather that makes the season. Summer was composed of unchartered days, unmeasured afternoons that drifted into long evenings. It seems the very notion of summer is gone.

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