Unlike June and July, August is the least intentional of summer months. Looking forward so much to summer, we schedule vacation, sign up for camps and mark outdoor events on our June and July calendars. June and July are planned and structured. We're determined not let summer be wasted. We go and attend and spend and return. We pack up and line up and take in and wade in. Come August, we've accomplished most everything on our summer checklist.
Maybe we're tired enough from doing summer by the time August rolls around that we're actually ready for being summer. Earnestness fades and we finally relax. Or, it may be August's heat that saps our strength and will to get up and go. Whatever, it just seems like by mid-August we're in a summer state of mind.
It may last just a few days, this balance between 'been there, done that' and get ready for next and gotta get going. We're between what's over and what's to come. Returns to school and the energy of September will quickly impinge upon whatever is left of summer. But the end of Dog Days offers a short stretch or window of some kind of grace.
The middle of August is less about intending and doing and more about being and observing. We watch surprise lilies sprout. We pull ripening tomatoes and pick green beans. We listen to cicadas in the trees. We savor a glass of iced tea. A novel reads itself to us. We sit in the shade and watch sprinklers water what's left of heat-scorched lawns.
We don’t leave summer completely in August, or at least it doesn’t leave us. It is in August, when the unique experiences and moments of summer begin to be numbered, that we realize that we have been blessed by it. This is the month when we savor summer, linger with its graces. Though September is on the horizon, perhaps the best days of summer are still to come.
John Franklin Hay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA