Labor Day, in my mind, always marks the last hurrah of summer. Summer is still available on a limited basis but the signs of her fading are everywhere. Small families of geese gather with extended families and look for places to bulk up before the migration. The summer leaves have faded from their vibrant green to a dull shadow of their former self with occasional splotches of yellows, crimsons and burnt siennas. The lakes settle to a quiet deep blue as lily pads and other aquatic plants yield to the season. The local deer are dressed in their winter grays, leaving only remnants of the bright rusty-reds coats of summertime. Swallows have long since abandoned their nesting sites and the nighthawks have travel through on the way to somewhere warmer, following the insects they pluck from the sky.
But she is not quite gone yet. There are still flip-flop wearing youths dotting the sidewalks in the early morning as they make their way to school in shorts and other, what would be in my time, totally inappropriate school wear. Youthful males breeching the cusp of adulthood still play Frisbee in the evening on the street in front of my house…but soon they too will depart and my cougaresque eye will no longer be able to tarry on the exposed and lovely muscle and sinew, covered in just the right amount of perspiration as to highlight a bicep here, a pec there. Sometimes an errant throw causes one of them to stretch in just such a way that his shorts, which now days are too long, expose a wonderful quad…wait…what was I talking about?
Right, right….the fading of summer…and other things.
But of course, as I say she’s not quite done yet. Autumn proper has not yet arrived so we are in transition; the glory spot of not having to say goodbye and no need to welcome what isn’t here yet. There is still time to sit at the lake and dangle our feet in the water, throw a hot dog or two on the grill and sip a good drink while we watch the sun go down. There will be a couple mowings before the leaf blowers appear, a few more days to admire our flowers and the trees still offer shade with their worn leaves.
Let us enjoy the last days of summer so we can embrace the beauty of fall and her colorful dress. Change is inevitable and control an illusion, so no need to waste time concerned over what might be in the future. Take today and enjoy the last hurrah of summer.