Friday, September 22, 2006

The last day of summer

I stood outside tonight, saying farewell to summer. The oak leaves are still in attendance on the branches, but the stiff breeze that was blowing caused them to swish and swirl and loosen their grip. The edges of the leaves have browned, and they will soon float down, bringing work for every able-bodied raker in the family. The acorns have begun their ping, ping on the roof of the house and van, and they will soon collect in groups under the swingset and up and down the gravel driveway. The sound as they hit the roof is like a soothing melody. I welcome autumn with great enthusiasm.

For me, the warm September days are a guest who has overstayed its welcome. The stifling summer heat covers me like an unwanted blanket; it saps much of my energy and takes with it any effortless joy. I choose joy in the summer, for it has its blessings, but the heat is a marathon for me.

Although the last official day of summer does not mean it's cold, it does mean that the suffocation of summer heat will soon be forgotten. It is fresh in the morning, and our first rainy day has already been to call. I will shiver again, happily. It signals sweaters, hot coffee in the afternoon, storm watching out the window, rainy walks, and flannel sheets. For one who experiences their dabbling in weather-related discouragement in the summer, the darker skies and colder weather signal hope and joy.

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