August Mornings

It’s August and I’m already starting to feel haunted.  While science may declare it nonsense, there’s a feeling in the air—particularly in the early morning—that tells us the seasons are changing.  While it may be different for everyone, for me it begins in the tip of my nose.  I can smell the change coming.  That doesn’t mean that we won’t have more hot days—a long string of them yet awaits—but the shift has begun.  Autumn is perhaps the season closest to the soul.  While I like all seasons for what they represent, fall has always put me in mind of melancholy rapture.  It’s a difficult concept to explain,  a kind of blissful evisceration.  A hitching of the breath in my lungs.  A sudden rush of joy followed by sadness.  The ease of summer living is ending.

Summer is the growth season when we look out and see the promise of provisions that will see us through long months of cold and chill.  The times we huddle down only to be blinded by the arctic beauty of the sun on a snow-covered day.  The indoors time.  Summer is when we can dash outside without a coat, giving no thought to whether we will be warm enough.  The scent of autumn is a slight chill.  It reminds me that while the crops have been growing, the monsters have too.  There’s a reason horror films are released in the fall.  I’m not the only one who knows they are coming.

Late summer is a liminal time.  While the calendar may tell us summer lasts until the autumnal equinox, traditional cultures marked time in a different way.  Equinoxes and solstices were closer to the middle of a season than its start.  Most years we begin to feel summer in May, or even April.  Winter cuts through November, and the thaw may begin as early as February.  When I step outside just after sunrise and breathe deeply, I can feel the monsters coming.  In a way I can’t explain, their lurking fills me with a frisson of anticipation.  Already the days are noticeably shorter.  Daylight itself seems to be fleeing before the ethereal chill that is still available in our rapidly warming world.  The seasons are all about feelings.  Emotions suffuse the changes of weather and human habits that accommodate to it.  There are shivers and then there are shivers that the creatures of autumn bring.  They’ve already begun to gather.

3 thoughts on “August Mornings

  1. norman milliken

    I’m among a small (I think it’s small) number of people who list summer as their least favorite season. The heat and bright sunshine bring discomfort and depression to my aging frame. I’ve been told this is a flip side to the SAD condition. It doesn’t affect many of us, but my sister and I are two of those errant souls. Fall and winter bring me alive again, although with each passing year the summer damage is harder to shake off. The last few winters have been pretty anemic for my blood, but they are the best we have, so I make do. For me, spring brings the first blush of the depression that will arrive as surely as summer heat. I wonder if global warming will be the end of me…


    • I certainly hope not, Norm! I understand where you’re coming from on this. For me the seasons are poetical, almost archetypal. Summer, in my head brings images of beach parties and young women and men dreading the return to school. In reality, I never experienced those things—I was never invited to beach parties, young girls showed no interest, and I looked forward to the start of school. At the same time, I feel the absence there. Carefree days versus days full of care.

      Autumn has always been my favorite season, followed by winter. I like to fancy that it’s my northern European background, but in reality it is the feelings that they bring. Summer may be a feeling more akin to sadness, but it’s a feeling nonetheless, I suppose.

      And be assured, if it weren’t for you this blog would likely never have been!


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