The summer’s gone.
I seem to have a more acute understanding of its departure than its arrival.
Perhaps my sensitivity to summer’s approach is deadened by the eternal waiting period we all experience. Waiting through the spring for the long languorous warm days of summer. Calloused so much so by an unyielding impatience for fruit so ripe that I don’t notice summer’s here until the juice is already dripping down my chin. Maybe.
By the time the fruits are all picked and you’re eating the best tomatoes of the season, the morning light that is my standard alarm clock is becoming a bit lazier, showing up late, exhausted and disinterested; passively allowing the relationship to die. And I’m groggier, aware of what’s happening but reluctant to admit that it must end. Delusion, one of the mind’s major achievements, keeps us waking up, pulling ourselves out of bed to own the moment, all the while truly knowing we’re just as powerless against the entropy of relationships as we are the more orderly rotation of the seasons.
With heads down we cultivate the garden, observant of Voltaire’s dervish and the farmer and the futility of idleness or of the wondering why.
I guess it’s easier to have a grip on gravity than that which we believe we should be able to control but can’t: the determinism of what may appear a whimsical emotional tug comes to mind. So rarely do the changing seasons make us cry.
We are quick to find comfort in routine, the rhythm to which we’re dancing, and we all find routine. Even the proud who eschew routine, cast it aside with disdain are only circumnavigating the more generic definition of the word. The routine finds its way into the work and the work weaves its way along the routine.
The summer disappears, the winter is endless, and the summer, no matter the rain or our busy lives, is always a long, wonderfully easy jam session that ends too soon. It all ends too soon.
Adjusting to less light and brisker mornings is one of the more jolting shifts, an abrupt segue that leaves you on the dance floor swaying awkwardly, uncertain how to move your body to the new beat that’s emerging from the fugue that is change. But it comes…it always comes until we become compost. So now we wait for a new beat, the next beat…the next thing to eat.
The leaves have begun flaming out, giving their green to the acorns and ripe shells of black walnuts: A departing gift. And the brilliant leaves falling off the trees are wildly beautiful: the oranges and reds, yellows and purples, electrified with a drama far different from those early days when I was denying the light’s late arrival. Soon the swirling winds will whisk the colors by my face as I stand powerless, happily, happily powerless in the middle of the grand rotation, reminded of all summer gave, it’s bounty growing over fences and from the roadsides, its early mornings filled with so much to do to manage the aggressive growth. And I’ll remember wine drunk late into the night as I laid in the soft grass and I’ll remember the juice and the sticky hands and the perfume of delicate flowers whose scent belies their fragility and I’ll also remember the tomatoes that never made it into jars, but fell, rotting in the garden, an unused offering. The fruits and greens, the berries and herbs that summer pushed upon us and we still could not get to all of them even though the days were so long that they, not unlike the winter, seemed endless.