Monday, August 02, 2010

Summer's End (But Let's Not Rush Things)

Our modern calendar places the beginning of Summer on June 21, but, as that is on or near the summer solstice, that is actually the mid-point of Summer (hence the celebration of Midsummer and Midsummer's Eve). The Celts traditionally believe summer begins on May 1, and ends on August 1. And I have to say, I think they got it right.

Without knowing about the Celtic tradition, the last few years I have found myself first noticing the waning of summer sometime around the beginning of August. While we struggle to squeeze in the last bits of vacation and reading lists before fall "officially" begins, nature is already telling us it's a losing battle.

The nights have already started to become longer and cooler. The first few leaves are starting to change color and fall. We have a lot of old trees in my neighborhood, and as I walked around tonight, I actually crunched through some fallen leaves. One ancient tree has already completely changed color and lost most of its leaves! I noticed that recently I've been wanting to wear jeans, and love the cool mornings when I put on a sweatshirt, and a friend of mine said the same thing. We who have grown up in this type of climate have the rhythm of the seasons flowing through our bodies, and they know even if the calendar doesn't. It's time. Summer has ended, and autumn is beginning.

HOWEVER. This all being said does NOT excuse the grocery stores having candy corn on the shelves in July. I mean, seriously? If you buy it now, you know you're going to eat it way before Halloween. And if not, ew. Do stores really going to think they're going to sell Halloween-specific candy when people haven't even wrapped their brains around back-to-school (which, by the way, I saw signs for in May. Before the kids had actually finished their previous school year.)?

The earth, and our lives, move in cycles and rhythms, but there's no need to rush from one to the next. Summer's ending, but there's a special atmosphere this time of year that happens no other time. The really hot days set off by the increasingly cooler nights. The way the sun slants in late afternoon. The abundance of harvest.

It's the beginning of August. How about we enjoy some fresh corn on the cob, and leave the candy corn for October?

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1 comment:

  1. Mmm, just had my first corn on the cob of the season yesterday afternoon. It was delicious.

    (I found your blog through various searches quite a while ago ... and I still pop by sometimes.)