As August drifts towards autumn, there are strong opposing forces at play in the universe.
There are the delights of the freedom of summer – of late evenings and relaxed schedules and the desire for adventure. Hours can be squandered on backyard improvements, rounds of golf, or afternoons on the deck of a pool. The luxury of relaxing with a book and an iced coffee in a hammock while your children race around the sprinklers with sticky popsicle smiles and shouts. Maybe fitting in one more road trip to visit relatives, or another week of work with the kids at day camps, bringing home treasures and stories, scrapes & grins.
A garden brings with it the tension between the two seasons. The pungent aromas of summer annuals and perennials are a welcome reprieve from the urgent demand of picking peas, raspberries, lettuce & spinach. As fall draws nearer, the profusion of squash, zucchini and cucumbers mean that unattended cars can become the unsuspecting targets of garden excess.
Then there are the urgent whispers of September. The body’s yearning to return to routines and rhythms, and the more pressing demands of responsibilities and reminders. Flyers from the gym bring contemplation of how many classes might fit into the work week. Parents asking for a ride to a few appointments, and the calendar begins to fill again. The boat is cleaned and stored, the camping trailer is emptied of all the bits and bobs, and shavings of Irish Spring and steel wool are painstakingly tucked in corners and crevices to discourage wintering rodent visitors.
This August has meant an early beginning for farmers as they go full swing into harvesting. The combines are humming, the dust is competing with smoke in the air, and the sunsets are absolutely stunning. Forecasts are checked hourly, and the meals to the field are brought out like clockwork. This is the busiest time of the year for these folks, and the fields light up like airstrips as the enormous machinery dot the landscape at night. It is a race against the weather and time to get the yields safely in the bin, and the bales to shelter for winter.
For some, the online ordering option for school supplies offers a relief from walking the aisles with children in tow; for others, it denies the pleasure of the familiar task. The smell of sharpened pencils and rubber erasers can awaken memories of back-to-school shopping with parents and siblings- and with it, the angst of not having the right kind of binders, or the latest trend in lunch bags or bento boxes. Stiff new shoes are prodded for room for toes, and children take the required laps across the store. Once home again, packages are opened, everything is labeled, and clothes picked out for the first exciting day of classes.
September is a month for endings and beginnings, the chance to wrap up and also to start fresh. Reflecting on the growth that has taken places, and the opportunities that lie ahead can be the motivation needed to take on new challenges and adventures!