Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer's Denoument



Summer is wearing itself out. Suddenly, just today, I could feel autumn coming. Last week I was well grounded in summer, but today - something changed. Maybe it's the sun sliding into Virgo that makes everything seem different, I'm not sure. Do you know what I'm talking about?

The days are noticeably shorter - did that happen in the last week? And the mosquitoes have taken up their annual campaign of late summer vengeance. (Why do mosquitoes get so viscious as summer comes to a close? Do they sense somehow that their days are numbered?)

The trees sound drier in the wind, producing a much more audible Shhh sound than a week ago. This morning I noticed some late-summer style dried up leaves scattered on the pavements. Even the gardens of people who carefully tend them all spring and summer have begun to shrivel up. The grass in Lincoln Park is brownish, other patches of grass, on the triangle parks, for instance, have turned to straw.

Summertime, just like Jake, is in its dotage. It's always a little sad when the energy shifts direction, begins to gather itself inwards in preparation for autumn's downward flow, although, unlike Jake, or me, or even you, summer will return fresh as a daisy next year and the year after and on and on.

I love the cycle of the seasons, turning round and round, before us and after us, too. The seasons lend me a sense of belonging, while at the same time reminding me that nothing lasts forever. I find that paradox very comforting. Do you?

11 comments:

lacochran said...

The mosquitos have particularly attacked me this week. I thought it was me, trying to squeeze in the last bits of summer outside enjoyment that brought it on...?

I find the shift depressing. September isn't so bad because it's got that left over "new school" and "new Jewish New Year" energy but beyond that, I'm not so into it. Especially when the time changes officially. Then I know the sun is dwindling for sure. Sigh.

Cait O'Connor said...

I live in Wales and we have had nothing but rain, summer has not been with us and now autumn, sadly, is very close.
You have a great blog, I love the photos. I have an eleven year golden lurcher and can identify with your feelings for your dog.

Adrianne said...

I have felt the lessened light and the crispness in the air since last Monday when I returned from vacation. The shhsshhing of the leaves and the mosquitoes' revenge I've noticed since this past Sunday. Also, this week my allergen-sensitive respiratory system has detected the arrival of the fall weeds. I find the change exhiliariting and comforting at the same time. I love living in a place that has all four seasons in spades, and I particularly love the transitional seasons. Fall is my favorite, probably only because in the fall I sneeze relatively less than in our beautiful spring. Although fall represents a kind of winding down, to me it always is a very regenerative kind of winding down. It will soon be good weather for sleeping well with the windows open, cooking soup, sipping red wine, and sitting by the fire. All very pleasurable pursuits, as far as I'm concerned.

Lynne said...

Yes! I have felt it all week. The light has shifted and the sun is much lower in the sky. Our nights have dipped down into the high 40s ... brrr ... but great for sleeping. Not good weather at all for our pool tho. I'm afraid swimming is already done for the year. :(
Yesterday I was out stacking up firewood that we had delivered and I could hear the squirrels high up in the trees knocking nuts to the ground. I think they feel the seasonal swing too.

Normally I am ready to hunker down in front of a cozy fire, but this year I'm not quite ready to let go of summer. It was a mild one this year.

Reya Mellicker said...

Summer was mild - and beautiful here in DC. But like Adrianne, I love fall. My body loves fall, my sinuses love fall, my heart loves the melancholy feel in the air.

Actually I love all the seasons in DC.

IntangibleArts said...

Autumn is, for this hep cat at least, the most energetic, energizing, creatively inspiring, absolute-rocking-est time of year, and so the slide in vibe towards Autumn is, invariably, a time of insane glee. For mee.

Some describe the season as "melancholy" but I think few truly understand the term. There's a tension in "melancholy" between thoughtfulness, resignation, despair, and comfort. It's a friction that impregnates the air with mystery. The wind carries puzzles in it: puzzles that get tangled in the hair and stir the mind.

The ravens know all about this; they laugh all the time, once the season shifts. You can hear 'em. And if you listen closely, you can suss what they're laughing about.

Reya Mellicker said...

God what a beautiful comment, Intangible! Wow.

Tell me what they're laughing about, please? I've always sucked at bird language. Help?

IntangibleArts said...

Raven was around when the world was made but he's got an ego problem. Loves to jabber to all the other birds about how he had a hand in it, etc... A tall-tale-teller.

But in the urban scene, particularly here in DC, mostly I think the ravens are laughing at us humans as we rush about with delusions of relevance (DoR), spending our lives in pursuit of shiny things in the far distance...

We're pretty close cousins, it seems.

Washington Cube said...

I am so attuned to light I can tell the second autumn has hit. It's all in the light.

lucy said...

You're utterly right! Wednesday night the moon was HUGE.

Early autumn huge.

First big moon of the year, at least in my view.

playfulinnc said...

I'm like Cube. I felt it (saw it) too, and felt-relieved it was here.

I adore fall.