Summer vacation is over

[Author’s Note: This was initially written several days ago, but not posted immediately.]

Some, unready to let go, may accuse me of jumping the gun here. Labor Day isn’t until next week! September doesn’t even start until Thursday! And technically, summer doesn’t even end for three and a half more weeks! All true – though that last one is pushing it a bit despite its technical accuracy. No, but really, I feel you. I’m right there with you. I’m not ready to let go, either. I’ve been stamping my feet cursing the existence of four seasons and the passage of time and demanding for year-round HEAT no matter how irrational the thought might be.

I mean, enjoy the next week if you want to – go for it, claim it as one final week of True Summer. Far be it from me to stand in the way, especially when the real reason I’m choosing right now to claim the death of summer is for my benefit, not yours. I just finished my one big Whole Week Off vacation for the year and it’s time to go back to work and much as I love late August and yearn to stop the wheels of time altogether, this is a very convenient occasion for me to just bite the bullet and shift over to Fall Mode.

Sometimes, given the chance once I see a blow coming, I’ll elect to just walk into it and take it now rather than sit around anticipating. I don’t know if that’s sensible or not.

So back to school, everyone! BWAHAHAHA! Time to put your head down, lean your ear to the grindstone, as it were, and get to the work at hand. It’s been fun, but seasons change and nothing lasts. Back to school indeed, new semester, new school clothes, shiny sneakers and crisp notebooks and pens still without bitemarks.

That late August/early September spirit is out every window and door, it’s everywhere in the light and all throughout the air. Sometimes I think that light, here in Monadnock Country, is the year’s best. In any case, its only competition would surely be mid-June, and there’s no real looking back to that now.

No, but soak it in, will you? The shadows are long, the sun’s rays tinted golden – and that’s the sheen of treasure on the one hand and the glimmer of old age on the other. Hurtling at unimaginable speeds away from the year’s zenith, this light and this air speaks tells its tales about the fullness and richness of life, of the vigor and power earned by a couple months outside in the sunshine – but all that’s a cumulative look backwards. Dominating all of these sensations – over wealth and rapid aging and joy and health and strength – the land and sky grow pregnant with the potential of the next few months and the exciting (though perhaps probably definitely exhausting) works and projects and quests to come this fall. Sure, autumn represents the solar year’s decline, but it’s almost as though there’s something in nature itself that accounts for the rhythm of the school year in addition to the harvest and the coming Cold Night.

I’m not at all ready to turn my back on this magical blazing summer – but I also love it, and it’s also time.

Are you ready?

[Update 8/31: After writing this a few days ago, I became very ill and neglected to post it. Now that I’m getting around to it, though, I just want to say…never mind. FIGHT IT UNTIL THE END! I closed it out asking that question about being ready. NO. I am not ready. I don’t know about you, but I am not ready. I have had a wonderful summer and I would like it to stay summer.

I know I can’t have that, but I’m at least gonna hold off on all that head-down-hard-work shit until next Tuesday like a civilized human. I recommend you do the same.]

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