August: Summer’s Swan Song.
By Catie Joyce.
Today is one of those perfect August days.
August has long been my favorite time of year. There is something I relish about this bittersweet month. For the first time all summer, you can see its conclusion. Yet it is in full bloom. Days are still long, sun is still bright, but on days like today there is a breeze in the air that signifies its impending end.
August is the finale of summer, and like any good play, the final act is the best.
I want to linger over this time, rather than thinking about leaving the theatre and driving home. But that seed is already planted, that hint of fall already in the air. I find myself secretly getting excited about apple picking, and pumpkin pie eating, despite the summer sun.
“Stop that!” I tell myself, “It’s not over yet!”
And this is the effect August, the edge of summer, has on me – pulling at my soul, always a little bit of longing. I teeter on the ledge between warm contentment and that drop off into another season, an entirely different time and space.
August is time for me to make a list. Yes, it is a to-do list, but of the best kind. It’s a list (sometimes mental notes, sometimes written out) of the things I want to do before the summer’s close.
Have I been to the beach enough? Have my lungs ached from swimming way out into the lake? Been jostled by the ocean waves? Have I star-gazed on a warm and humid night? Have I sipped a summer ale on a sunny back deck? Lay in the grass and finished a good book? Walked barefoot? Spent enough time in the green-drenched woods before the leaves fall?
How many different kinds of berries have I picked? Have I eaten enough ice cream cones? Have we used the grill enough? Have I caught fireflies? Sat beside an open fire? No, I haven’t made s’mores yet. Can I eat more garden fresh tomatoes? Will there be another opportunity to dance in the warm rain of a summer shower?
If the answer is no, or not enough, then that activity goes on the list. I typically do more with my summer in August than any other month. Our family vacation is over by the first week. Then there are three or so more to spend cramming in the rest of the summer’s must-dos.
Sometimes, I get a panicky feeling. Like that feeling you get when you’re miles away from home and you think you left the oven on or the door unlocked.
“No, it can’t be over. There’s still so much left to do!”
I take a few long deep breaths (hopefully in the open air, with the sun on my face), and remember to live in this present moment.
In this present moment summer is not over. I can step outside and enjoy the sun (or clouds), the warmth, the green, the summer sounds of bugs and birds. In the present moment I am not teetering between two worlds, two seasons. I am just here with my beloved August, and that’s all.
Catie Joyce lives, plays, and writes in the valley near the mountains of Western Maine. She is a certified teacher of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Drawn to Kundalini Yoga for its holistic approach, she carries this over into her teaching, through classes with a focus on calming the mind, in order to uplift and elevate. Find her blogging about yoga, meditation, and inspired living at TheApproximateYogi.com. Connect with Catie on Facebook or Twitter.