The tinge of crisp coldness was brief today. We dove into the water of our beloved Queen’s Bay and we all felt slightly chilled as we made our way back to the beach. The sun did her job well though, warming us up and eventually convincing us of the need to have another swim. The water wasn’t necessarily cold but it was definitely not as warm as it has been. Here in the waning days of August, it was another hot day, another treasure to hoard in my soul.
This fierce briefness of heat we all love and covet is coming to an end. It never fails to evoke a sense of deep melancholy within me: a sense of desolate loss. I feel as if I am wandering aimlessly looking for something I can’t define. I feel sad. This ache deep in my heart is as familiar to me as the passion I have for summer. When I strip down after a long hot day at the beach, I marvel at my tan lines. Now I begin to mourn as I know they will fade, like these hot glorious days. Yes, yes: we will still have hot days, warm days, sunny days. But the saturation of July is a completeness I need, the height of summer is such a dear thing I hold very close to my heart. I feel grief as I feel the slight change to the season. The sun slants more into my living room, whereas a month ago I never saw the beams upon my furniture. The air is cooler, making sleeping easier but drawing a tender sorrow from deep within me.
Gardens are overgrown and leggy. The Kokanee begin their red transformation. End of summer sales dot the streets. School supplies are bought. Birds no longer chirp at 3 AM. It wanes, this summertime. This magical and far too brief time of heat and water and fun and flip-flops. The trunk of my car has sported floaties and masks and coolers full of chips and ciders and cherries for a couple of months. It’s starting to smell a bit musty. August means epic canning days. August brings vast quantities of beans and plums and peaches and basil. August hangs on to lazy as long as it can, but still we know it is slipping from our fingers. The sun edges slowly away and we cannot do anything to stop its progress. It is heartbreaking, as always.
We grasp what we can, we wring every ounce of sun and heat and laughter and fun out of summer. These last few days of sunshine and heat before school and lunches and schedules start are more precious than diamonds. One last kick at the can, one last party, one final swim. We take and take until it is no longer given.
And then we move on.