Saturday, July 21, 2007

Summer's Over?

July 21, 2007

From the great trees the locusts cry
In quavering ecstatic duo--a boy
Shouts a wild call--a mourning dove
In the blue distance sobs--the wind
Wanders by, heavy with odors
Of corn and wheat and melon vines;
The trees tremble with delirious joy as the breeze
Greets them, one by one--now the oak
Now the great sycamore, now the elm.
- Hamlin Garland

So yesterday on a local radio station I heard the depressing news that summer is pretty much over. Schools in our city start on July 26, and neighboring cities are slated to begin August 6. I'm pretty sure that's criminal. August is the quintessential summer month, the month when the heat rises from the asphalt and the grass crackles beneath your feet. In the North, you can start to taste autumn around the end of August; but here in the South the days retain their stifling heat and you can be earnestly ready for fall by mid-September.

But I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready to relinquish summertime because somebody said school should start and summer should be over. I've still got lots to do on my list, including more camping, more swimming, more getting together with friends, and more afternoons of sheer laziness. Next week we head for our annual week in upstate New York, during which I intend to read several books, swim, sail, and eat. That will all take place after my brother's wedding on the 28th. And when we return, I intend to bask in August's hot stillness just a little longer.

August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a matchflame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
A moment,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.
- Elizabeth Maua Taylor

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