Tuesday, August 20, 2013

'Summer is already walking the path to yesterday'

It is the time of the season when life naturally begins to accelerate, as we try to fit in a boatload of summer activities before September.
But at the same time we yearn to hold onto the feeling of space that summer brings, to rest, relax and dream.
This dichotomy comes to a head in late August, causing a frenzy of activity some days and bouts of laziness on others.
All this is amplified weekends at the summer house in Tiverton.
During the workweek we plan to spend hours at the seashore, splashing in the ocean, fishing in the cove, collecting sea glass, digging for clams.
But after lunch, we are more likely to linger at the table and sit in the backyard, reading and enjoying each other’s company.

“As August draws to a close, evenings are cool. Autumn is already in the air,” said New England author Gladys Taber, who wrote from her seventeenth-century Connecticut farmhouse. “The signs are small, but a country eye sees them. The grass no longer seems to grow overnight and need mowing. The peppers begin to turn rosy in the vegetable garden, and the tomatoes ripen.”
The weather this season has been the most erratic in memory.
June was just plain cold, and although the family gathered at the summer house, we mostly stayed inside.
July scalded us with hazy, hot and humid days, stuck in the mid-90-degree range. The month began with an invasion of Portuguese men-of-war lurking along our coastline. Then Fogland State Beach closed due to red tide. Lastly came the great white sharks spotted nearby at Gooseberry Island in Westport.

But all was forgiven as gentle August breezed in with its temperate sunny days, the stuff memories are made of. We sit at the water’s edge, content to just watch the waves roll in. But we know the days are numbered.
 “The season is changing, goldenrod and chicory mark the way. And some of the birds begin flying in formation instead of singly,” wrote Taber. “They are doing practice flights. They wheel and circle and talk a lot, and a few just cannot seem to fall in line... But when they begin to swing over the peaked roof, we know it is a sign. Summer is already walking the path to yesterday.”

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