Even though Labor Day is frequently regarded as the unofficial end of the Summer, the official end of Summer doesn’t come until roughly three weeks later with the Equinox. Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to the trees, you’d think Autumn began back in the middle of August. I think we all have a pretty good idea that the leaves on the trees are supposed to change colors and fall off somewhere around this time of year, but most people don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the process until they wake up one morning and suddenly everything is yellow and red, and a third of the trees are already bare of leaves. At some point, you begin looking for the changes just so you don’t get caught completely off guard by the whole thing, but that mostly just serves to make you silently lament the passing of Summer into Fall.
On the other hand, as the seasons change, it seems inevitable that people start asking themselves if they really made effective use of the Summer while they had it. I know I do this, even though I find it’s probably just best to not dwell on such things. After all, unless you happen to have spent your entire summer inventing outlandish contraptions in the backyard every day while somehow avoiding getting busted by your parents for it, the chances are good that you are going to weigh your Summer in the balances and find it wanting. Most responsible adults (I do find it necessary to impersonate one of these on occasion) have jobs that do not afford them the luxury of being able to take the whole Summer off work, so you end up pretty much getting your Summer in where you can, which tends to be in relatively small chunks in the evenings and weekends, and maybe a week or two of vacation if you can get away. This may not seem like a lot when you compare it to the vast expanse of Summer vacation that you got back when you were still in school, but if you use it judiciously you can still get plenty done… in theory at least. Of course reality tends to ensue, and as a result we never seem to quite accomplish everything we wanted to during the Summer.
Normally this wouldn’t be a problem for most people, but around here we live in a climate where we tend to get about 3 or 4 months of nice weather per year, 2 or 3 months of so-so weather and the remainder of the year filled up with the usual crud. As a result of this, there always seems to be this nagging sense that even in late June when we’ve got practically the whole Summer in front of us that our Summer is being served to us in a glass with a slow leak in the bottom. Sure we’ll eventually get a refill, but it’s quite a long way off. At this particular point in the year I wouldn’t say that the glass is completely empty just yet (after all, we’ve managed to get a few surprisingly nice days out of this September) but we’re definitely down to the last few drops. And even though I’ve never been a big fan of Autumn (especially the part where it starts getting dark by 5pm,) I do have to admit that the season does come with its own set of charms as well. When you’re sweating through 90 degree weather in the middle of August the thought of settling down on the couch with a nice blanket and/or a significant other to snuggle up with never seems to come up for some reason, but give ita few months and it starts sounding like a great way to spend an evening. And then, of course, there’s the Holiday season, which even though it kind of tends to get usurped by Winter in much the same way Memorial Day gets usurped by Summer even though there’s still close to a month of Spring left when it happens, really belongs a lot more to Autumn. Then again, I suppose if we didn’t arbitrarily assign the Holidays to Winter then it would kind of turn the whole thing into three months of bleak disappointment. Unless you’re a skier, then you’ve at least got an excuse to look forward to the Winter for something.
Unfortunately, short of pulling up stakes and heading for Florida for a few months during the Fall and Winter, there’s not a lot we can do to get away from it, so we might as well make the best of it while we have it. Or at least’s that what we’d do if we had any idea how we’re supposed to actually do that… Oh well, at least Summer is now less than nine months away, right?