Dear end of summer,
I know you're not here yet, not quite. Today, there was a family celebration held under a spreading catalpa tree, with blankets on the grass and food under the patio shelter and everyone lingering despite the fact that it was noon, and then past noon. There was an afternoon catnap at five. There was an ice cream social in our friends' back yard, with children's ice cream cones melting in their hands and everyone chatting as the sun went down, the trees marking our horizon glittering with the falling light, the air cooling, the party lights coming on. Summer. We're still in it.
I suppose, though, that the relevant fact of August means that we must look out for you, as inexorable as the weeks passing, the now noticeable every day minutes-earlier sunset, the way that even the warmest afternoons now predict that they are numbered. That soon enough, we'll be remembering them, coming home from work at dusk, snugging up inside as the evenings get cold.
A friend noted, recently, that summer had gone by too quickly, which she could tell by the fact that they hadn't even finished one jar of mayonnaise. I replied It's not over yet! And I meant it, and mean it now. It's not over, but over it will be, and soon enough. And the fact of its immanent end adds sweetness to every last moment: to the ceiling fan ticking over our sleep. To the flowers that have sturdied and kept blooming in the yard even under the sternest sun. To our evening walks with the dog. To our plans, and how they seem so much more finite now. To the harvest which has not yet reached its peak, though soon enough it will.
End of summer, I hope you will keep your coming steady. I hope you will not rush. Be gentle, end of summer. I want to mark, record, enjoy every moment still left.