Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Waning

Already the middle of August. I don’t mind the idea that the heat may be easing a bit from now on. I’m fine with that. It’s been hot! But this time of year always feels nostalgic to me. I think it may stem from those childhood years when the start of another school year loomed (usually right after Labor Day), and the remaining days of summer began to seem more and more precious.

There was a stretch of mostly empty land just down the lane from the house where I spent ages 6 to 15. It wasn’t country; more like edge of the village. But there were trees and a shallow stream running down one side. Never anybody around. We’d head out in the morning and spend hours building “hide-outs” in the long grass or bothering the “crawdads” in the water. I once came home with some fang marks on my big toe, which gave my mother a bad moment. I guess it was a grass snake (no venomous reptiles in the area). I don’t remember being bitten. Too busy playing, I suppose. “Hello, snake. Oops, gotta run!”

When the goldenrod and asters started showing up, we knew summer was winding down. The days were a little shorter, the crickets louder. I liked school, but still some sadness came along with them. Maybe it also had to do with the coming cold, when all that green would die. Whatever the reason, I feel wistful on long late summer evenings. I think of words like “gloaming” and the coming turn of the year.

by Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.


  1. I love autumn. Love it! Unfortunately, it doesn't start in my part of the world until late October.

  2. I'm an autumn lover myself. I've already started eyeing those woolly sweaters in the basement. If summer could be gone NOW, I would be perfectly happy.