Her days roll out leisurely, as though intentionally slowing down – as Billy Joel says “These are the days to hold on to, ’cause we won’t although we’ll want to.” In New England, the short smack of heat and humidity is long gone. Already, the evenings are cool, though the days are still filled with warm sunshine framing picnics, bike rides and sailing outside the harbor. Growing up here, I recall a growing sadness in August – because summer was soon coming to an end, because school would be starting again, because this little season was far too brief.
Now, of course, I have the luxury of enjoying the freshness of New England summers and leaving behind the heavy Florida air. Then when it gets too chilly for my capris, I hit the road for the tropics. I know there are lots of folks who anticipate the beauty of Autumn color and the subsequent challenge of snow and ice. Those hardy souls are the skiers and the snowboarders, ice skaters and sledders or just those with a strong internal furnace the enables them to face a bracing wind and smile.
After spending my life enduring the drama of northern seasonal changes, I am more than happy looking forward to a January sitting outside at my favorite cafe, sipping wine and having dinner. Perhaps I’ve used up all my New England hardiness.
I’m always surprised that the summer goes by so quickly. I don’t know why. In July, the annual trek to Florida feels far away. But, here we are in August, and my mind has already begun to plan – where to stop on the way south, what to bring. Emails are coming with the flurry of fall schedules – chorale rehearsals, Symphony, Yoga. All the things I love so much about my life in our Florida home.
So, I no longer feel sad in August. I’ve come to enjoy the formidable pause in the action, as people go on vacations, businesses lull. Today has been all about listening to the leaves in the backyard, the birds chattering away, Boo announcing every squirrel and chipmunk. There’s an occasional flurry of action in the harbor – a big motorcycle ride earlier today on Front Street. Sounded like the Hells Angels, but I know it wasn’t. Some charity ride. Mostly it’s the sound of the leaves. A neighbor is playing ball with his young kids. Another is walking the dog with her niece here for her annual visit.
Our yellow umbrella is open on the front patio table. The blue Hydrangeas are showing their stuff. The Blackeyed Susans sway in the breeze and I detect a tinge of red already on the Flaming Bush. All of our potted plants are exuberant. Tonight will be another Super Moon. It’s lovely and clear, so people will be gathering down by the harbor, over on Lighthouse Road, or maybe sitting on their boats in the marina to see the spectacle.
It’s August and everyone knows how precious these days are. So, we slow down and stretch them out as best we can.
Featured image “SuperMoon” by J Michael Sullivan