We’ve reached the tipping point, I think.
Though this summer never reached skin-melting level here in Maryland, the air has already taken a cooler turn. The mornings are crisper — weather typically reserved for late September. The small tree outside my office window has red in its highest branches, and fallen leaves skitter across streets and parking lots.
This is premature, I know; it’s still August, and not even late August. But the store shelves have already been ransacked by nervous students. Pumpkins, witches and ghouls adorn seasonal aisles. Halloween candy beckons at the grocery store, and costumes will soon follow. Early-morning marketing emails remind us to “take advantage of summer before it’s gone!” (and buy their coconut-scented lotion, of course).
I can’t say I’m sad, exactly . . . we know autumn is my absolute favorite season, and I can’t wait for boots and scarves and holidays with friends and family. I keep thinking of this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, then feel a twinge of longing for all that’s to come.
But there’s something bittersweet about knowing our flip-flops will retire soon — that our warm days and humid nights will fade to crispy-brown golden afternoons. Though I love autumn intensely, I’m never so aware of the passage of time as when we say goodbye to this season.
Maybe because so many look forward to it for so long: mornings where we dash out without coats, running with bare arms and legs . . . free and unencumbered. Vacations, cook-outs, toes in sand.
Maybe because I fear another awful, never-ending winter — a frosty season that stretched for months and months last year. Buried under snow piles, the world slick with ice and salt.
But time continues, pushing us with it. We carve pumpkins, watch beloved TV specials and march on.
And how could I ever be sad in a world with pumpkin spice lattes?
As proof that I am nothing if not predicable, I discovered I wrote a very similar post almost a year ago to the day . . . on the Monday before local schools start up again. Fall brings this out in me!