Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Have You Seen August?

August was always, for the most part, a hot summer month. It was sticky and sweet, a month for jamming as much watermelon in my mouth as I possibly could while listening to the cicadas buzz in the pine trees. It was a month for sitting in the hot sun, washing bushels and bushels of tomatoes from my grandparents' garden in ancient metal washtubs big enough to bathe a collie (and probably utilized for that just as readily), the stems floating like drowning spiders. It was a month for picking plump, juicy blackberries from the bush behind the barn--picking them until my fingers were all stinging from the tart juice that seeped into a multitude of thorn-pricks. It was a month for climbing mountains in cool moist forests, bursting out of the trees and into warm hazy sun over the Blue Ridge, looking down to see white clapboard houses peeking out of acres and acres of fields.

But here, in New England, it seems like August is nothing more than a plank bridge of a month, keeping a tenuous hold between summer and fall. It's been chilly and damp as of late, and by the time I leave work for the evening it's already dark out.

I feel like someone has taken Indian Summer from me. Shouldn't we still be lazing in the hot sun? Shouldn't sand still be burning the soles of our feet? How is it so cold and dank and October-like?

Don't get me wrong--I adore October. But that's assuming it actually occurs in October--that it doesn't bully its way up to steal August's late-summer sun and replace it with a cool damp blustery-ness.

So I implore--if you have taken August, put it back. Please. I won't tell anyone. You can slip it back into its calendar slot, no questions asked. I will simply turn my head and take sudden interest in a fruit fly buzzing against the wall. No one has to know you took it. Just replace it.


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