Summer isn’t measured so much by the calendar as it is by the weightless days you move through. You shed your layers of clothes and kick off your heavy shoes, trading them in for shorts and flip-flops, making your spirit seem lighter, too.
We just returned from a three-day weekend get-away to meet some friends in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for one last summer fling. Driving up the Eastern Shore, we noticed the dry and dusty road and the yellowing cornfields, and sensed summer’s end was coming.
Fewer and fewer produce stands lined the road, and their offerings were meager.
As I sat on Dewey Beach under our beach umbrella, watching the families reveling in the surf, and when we strolled the boardwalk with its carnival atmosphere, I began to feel summer starting to fade just a little bit more.
Many colleges have begun their fall semester, my husband’s included, and school children will soon follow, some starting before Labor Day. It seems once school is in session, even though summer doesn’t officially end until September 22, astrologically speaking, we are done with summer. My September issue of Better Homes and Gardens features a fall scene on its cover with a teaser about knockout autumn containers, and one of my food magazines sports a bowl of chili on its front along with article titles such as “45 fabulous fall ideas” and “harvest favorites.” If I were September, I would shout, “No fair! You’re short-changing me!”
After we unloaded the car yesterday, I went out to my little courtyard and watered my bedraggled plants, victims of a summer with too much heat and too little rain. My blackberry lilies are finally showing me how they got their name as their bright orange flowers have changed to pods of blackberry-looking fruit. Soon we will cut our perennials down to the ground, our lilies, our irises, and our hostas, and prune back our roses, waiting for them to ignite again in the spring. Though they will be gone from sight, they will only be sleeping, ready for the right time to appear again.
Summer is a perennial season for me. Yes, it is nearly over, but its roots lie deep in my spirit. Some autumn day, when the last leaves are falling, or when a blustery winter wind blows, I will pull out a piece of summer when I need it, savoring its sweetness. Summer is a frame of mind.