Today I woke up, realized the month had ended and re-arranged my desk calendar.
Friends and regular readers of this site know full well how the changing of the months matters to me. Flipping the calendar seems to convey some importance beyond the mere act; it's as if each new month heralds a transition, something new, often a change in one's personal ecosystem or viewpoint.
Today is one such day.
I had meant to write about this yesterday, which of course was the last day of August. But it's actually better today on the first day of a new month. Because a transition is indeed in the air.
For today is September 1.
I've written in the past about the melancholy surrounding the passing of summer. Such drama seems to have relaxed a bit but it still rings true even if the edge has been dulled somewhat. There is a certain sadness which settles in when we realize that for the most part Summer is over. We made it to May and celebrated Memorial Day, the unofficial start of Summer. We enjoyed the heating up of the atmosphere in June, the parades and fireworks on July 4, and swam and biked and socialized all the way through the end of August.
Did I just say the end of August? Yes. It occurs almost without warning but each year we have notice of what's happening but don't pay attention. The truth is August is a slippery beast. It signals that for the most part Summer is half over. Most don't give it any more than a cursory nod. The parties and fun times continue unabated through July into August without a care in the world. "August already?" some say on their way to a friends house, the movies, or the beach. And then they turn around and it's already August 10. Which quickly accelerates to August 15 and beyond. At this point there's only two weeks left, the end is suddenly well in view and where did it come from? People start to batten down the hatches, prioritize their time more stringently and prepare for the shift back to normalcy. Kids back to school, vacation time over, the whole lot. Television commercials advertise Labor Day and Back to School deals although truthfully these seem to start earlier and earlier each year. This year the back to school sales appeared in July which seemed awfully cruel.
So we've done it; we've enjoyed the Summer and it's all happened again. Last night just before midnight we squeezed the last drop out of August and a minute later everything shifted to September. The good news then is this: we still have the last Summer holiday of Labor Day before we shut this whole operation down. Do not let it go easily. Make sure you do something fun and send this Summer out with the respect it deserves. Treat it like a friend moving away and send him off in style. Party until dawn, take some bicycle rides, have a barbecue, do some kayaking. Just do it. Leave nothing in the tank. You'll respect yourself later on for riding this Summer all the way home.
And of course there is this: Summer doesn't technically end until September 23. But by then everyone is into their normal routine again, not to be disrupted again until next May.