Saturday, August 14, 2010

All of a Sudden, It's August

It happens when you awaken one morning and it feels as if it is too early to get up.  It's dark.  Not night-dark, but dark in some sort of fuzzy, non-specific, sleepy headed way.  The pre-conscious impression is that it is still early yet. The light is dim, unformed.  The sun has not yet risen.  Or, maybe it's very foggy, or overcast.  At any rate, one's slightly more conscious mind thinks, I'm going back to sleep. 

Then you catch sight of the clock on your way back down to the pillow. 

And you know in your bones that it is August.  Still warm, even blastingly hot of high summer sometimes, but the sun is rising much later, and with that day shift you almost feel the Earth's weighty glide towards autumn.  Propelling you through seasons and time.

The morning's walk in the woods is silent of bird songs.  They are replaced by the rattle and plunk of falling acorns.  Crickets and cicadas buzz.  The light is flat and it, and lawns, are shifting to gold.  Nature's energy feels mature, ripe, unhurried. 

I think I know why summer seems so short.  Constant change.  From the first crocus pushing their miraculous petals through melting snow, to milkweed fluffs drifting over browning fields, the passing from spring to summer to fall is ever changing.  Series of flowers bloom, each according to its own clock.  Pop, fade.  Pop, fade.  Spot to spot in the garden, like the longest fireworks display imagineable.  Fruiting plants emerge colorful buds, to flowers, to fruit growing fuller and more colorful each day, and then drop to the ground.  Birds nest, hatch eggs, fledglings grow until they fly away.  The summer scene changes every week like the episodes of a television show.

In contrast, winter is still, unchanging sleep.  Once the all green turns brown and black, and the snow falls, and the migrating birds have left and the hibernating animals burrow and sleep, the scene does not change.  Though birds flock to the feeder, they are the same every day, all winter.  No young ones getting bigger all the time.  No gradual shift of species from one month to the other, as flowers would: red ones flocking in December; blues ones arriving in January. 

Maybe the change is more subtle.  The deer get thinner.  The snow changes consistancy.  I guess there is always the lengthening of days - but we can miss that all together when we rise in the dark, and return home in the dark for several months no matter the change. 

How does one feel the passing of time in tropical places where Nature does not sleep?  Are there different rhythms of the cycles of life that simply go round and round, skipping that long pause of winter's quiet?  Does the light tell you what time of the year it is?


  1. Funny that you should mention the changing light. Just this morning I arose earlier than usual and noted that it was still gray outside at about 6:45 and made a mental note to notice the shortening of the evening. It's 8:20 PM and we're in that gray light. Yes autumn is coming; I can even see it in the heat of central Texas where seasons are not so distinct.
    I notice you are reading "The Crossing". Cormac McCarthy is a wonderful writer. I thoroughly enjoyed his "Border Trilogy" (All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing & Cities of the Plain). I hope you are reading all three. I think I have read all of his books from his Tennessee days to present. "No Country for Old Men" is a great, but gruesome story taking place in south Texas... and the movie was right on target.

  2. Very true observations, put to words beautifully!

    I had not set the alarm last night, not having any early appointments today and I usually am awake by 6.30 am anyway. Well, what can I say, I woke, it was still night very bright outside, rain drops knocking on the window, and almost fell out of bed when I noticed it was 10 am already! Last day of August, sending a clear message of what's to come. *yikes*

  3. So beautiful!!! This is pure poetry!!! You write so well!!! ~Janine XO

  4. Hi! Just stopping by to see what you are up to!! Hope all is well! ~Janine XO

  5. Hi Jennifer -- I miss you! You must be really busy because you've not posted in more than two months.


Thanks for visiting. I love having you at my table with me.

Something About Sunsets

There is something about sunsets that always makes me melancholy.  Dylan Thomas whispers in my ears.  "Do not go gentle into that goo...