“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it …”
~ Hal Borland, American author and naturalist
Nobody feels and experiences the change of seasons as does the school student. One evening while out walking Abby, we stopped to visit with neighbors. Their 14-year-old daughter was sitting on the grass.
“Hey, Lindsey, how’s it goin’?”
The new freshman, whom I’ve know since a baby, answered, “Nine more days…”
I immediately knew what she meant – school starts in nine days. Believe me, I can empathize; as my memory recalled those last days of summer, I the same way. The anticipation and nervousness of the new school year, the excitement of seeing friends, and summer’s end all converge on that single day. Whatever the combination of feelings, the waiting was the worst.
Yes, there is change in the air. Amid the myriad human examples, the weather and the earth’s position are examples of the arrival of autumn.
I have a little game I play. With no official name, it involves noticing “the first evidence” of a holiday or season. I have yet to see real pumpkins, but fall décor is on display in many local stores. Recently, when passing by, I glanced in the window of the Hallmark store – and quickly looked away, for there were hung Christmas ornaments! I’m not ready yet! Home I scurried to jump back into summer. A swim to cool off did the trick, as the weather remains warm in our “neck of the woods.”
Currently, in northern parts of the Midwest east of the Rockies, temperatures are 25 degrees below normal. The unusual weather is due to the jet stream dropping farther south in August than expected. Cold air is being transported straight out of the Gulf of Alaska into the area. Here the approach of autumn is evident.
On that same walk, I realized that the light of the evening is ebbing. Summer evenings I hold dear; nevertheless, we are almost two months past the June solstice. Time is passing. The earth, in its timeless manner, orbits the sun. In the process, the Northern Hemisphere (our spot) is tilted toward the sun in the summer, making days longer than nights. Occurring so seamlessly, it can easily be overlooked.
Being sandwiched between coastal fog and desert heat, highs below 90 degrees and lows in the 60s are expected. Weather-wise, what to wear on that first day of school? TBD…