"Summer is like the ultimate one-night stand....hot as hell, totally thrilling, and gone before you know it." ~ Author unknown
Summer 2011 in the deep South took us with a vengeance, as it did with most of the country. Days the temperature hovered in the 80's were in the spring and short-lived. Choking ninety degree heat, closer to the century mark, has been the norm with little respite in the form of rain or cooler temps. Our little waist-high pool was much used by the Fab 5 grandkids and I particularly enjoyed the new hammock we purchased and set up in the shade of the trees in the backyard. We anxiously anticipated our vacation to Hilton Head Island at the end of August and enjoyed it immensely even though I had a tooth extracted while there and Hurricane Irene threatened to ruin the last few days but in the end was no more that some heavy rain squalls and wind on our last day.
As we drove back to Atlanta, tired from our vacation and using the proverbial joke about needing a vacation to recover from our vacation, it dawned on me that something had changed while we were away. At first I couldn't pinpoint exactly what the change was. I just knew it had. After riding in silence watching the gray band of highway pass under our car and the dusty trees of late summer edging the interstate slide by mile after mile, it came to me: the light - the light was what was different. It wasn't the light of late summer - that blaring white hot light that heats the air to the point you feel you can't breathe. No, there had been over the course of the week a shift in the light and the haze it produced was the pronouncement that summer is dying and we were witnessing the initial hint of the autumn season that will soon overtake summer and send it on its way. Looking out the big picture window of our home just a few days ago, we saw the evidence of falling leaves scattered on the lawn. Labor Day, summer revelers' last hurray, brought rain from Hurricane Lee and with it temperature highs barely in the 70's yesterday and just 65-68 degrees today.
Yes, temperatures will rebound into the eighties, possibly nineties, as they are expected to do so by week's end. But for all practical purposes, summer is over. Summer with its fireflies and hammocks, swimming pool fun, meteor showers, lush green foliage, watermelons and homegrown tomatoes, popsicles and snow cones, and all the hundred other little things that make summer fun, laid back, worth savoring.
So....Good-bye Summer. For some inexplicable reason I will miss you more this year than usual. I'm not quite sure I know why. Yet I do know, as sure as the passing of the seasons, I will embrace Autumn as I always do. The boxes of fall decorations are already pulled down from the attic, waiting to be placed on the mantel and hearth, around doorways, in the dining room. Hello, Fall.......
"Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled. The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season's last crops."
- Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis