|August, near dusk|
The sun comes up noticeably later than in June and goes down earlier. Even the swallow who sings outside my window every morning has been somewhat muted as of late.
In the old days it was time to start thinking about the harvest, time to start preparing for winter. Winters can be harsh in New England, the one we had last year was a prime example of an old fashioned New England winter.
The two oldest grandkids have started school already. Granted, they live in California where many things are, shall we say, different, but checking the school district calendars here in Little Rhody I see that there is a general trend to start school the week before Labor Day but a number of schools actually start a week before that. A few start up after Labor Day.
I remember as a kid dreading the "Back to School" advertisements which started up well before it was actually time to head back to school. Sort of like Christmas decorations showing up in stores before the candles in the Jack O' Lanterns have stopped smoldering.
It's all about the money I guess.
I understand, really I do. Folks need to make a living and they need to strike while the iron is hot. People with school age kids need school supplies. If your jingle is catchier, your print ad more colorful, then odds are that you'll make the sale first. In a way they're harvesting our dollars. If you wait too long, you lose the crop.
But still, summer speaks to me of freedom, of being care-free. While it has been many, many years since those summers with no responsibilities and no cares in the world, I remember them with a special ache.
Many of the people who inhabited my summers as a boy are gone now. My grandparents, my uncles, most of my aunts, my Dad...
Those of us who remain are older, in some cases wiser, in some cases not. We are gray now, the infinite approaches whether we want it or not.
But we watch the kids head off to school. Some excited by it, some not. And we wonder...
Just where did the summer go?