Do you have the August blahs? I just coined that phrase. It’s like the Sunday blues, the slightly anxious, slightly sad feeling that overshadows the last day of the weekend, of good times.
The fact is, by the middle of August, we’re already thinking about Fall. It’s almost time to put away the patio furniture, close the summer cottage. The pool or swimming hole is not so inviting; the water temperature has dropped because of the longer, cooler nights. In August, winter clothes start appearing in the department stores. School supplies flood the stationary stores and misleading jingles make us actually think of Christmas. (“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”)
Farmers begin to harvest in August. Students treasure each August day, knowing that every one gone brings them closer to the the dreaded school year. In Canada, we start the countdown to the end of summer in August.
But hold on…
Isn’t there’s something to be said for more comfortable daytime temperatures, morning walks in the crisp, bug-free air? Who likes the feeling of leaving the house on a hot, muggy morning in summer with a swarm of disease-laden mosquitoes divebombing your exposed flesh with razor sharp daggers?
Who wants lawns to mow, gardens to weed, bug sprays that irritate the eyes and nose, hay fever, muggy days, night time thunderstorms that rock the house and terrify small animals? Tornado watches, hail warnings, all manner of dreadful fear mongering weather reports–who needs those?
(I know, I know. We get storm warnings in winter, too. Today, I’m just trying to help summer lovers be less sad about leaving it behind. How am I doing so far?)
I guess the point is that change comes whether we want it or not. Nothing lasts forever and seasons show us that. Seasons reflect our lives. We begin with our Spring- preparation time, when anything seems possible. We’re young, learning about what life has to offer, and excited about the future. Then we move into summer, the season of doing. We plant the seeds of our crop and work hard to keep the weeds out. (Look to the ant, says Proverbs. He works hard all summer so he will have the fruit of his labor to sustain him through the winter.)
Summer fades. We’ve mellowed, settled into our life’s work, and look towards the harvest. Fall eases us on our journey. We know we’re getting long in the tooth, but we still have vigor. And once in a while, Fall grants us unexpected gifts—glorious, summer-like days of magic that refresh our spirits and remind us we’re still alive. We discover that frost on the roof doesn’t mean the fire’s gone out.
Winter sneaks up on us. We’re never prepared for its abrupt intrusion. Suddenly, the winds blow colder, snow flies. We can no longer work. It is now the time to enjoy the fruits of what we have sown in the seasons before. If we have followed the ant’s example; if we have worked hard in our summer season, we have reaped a grand harvest.
And if we didn’t work as hard as the little ant, well, that’s where the government old age security pensions come in. Let’s just hope someone there was working like the ant and the coffers haven’t run dry!