Toward the end of August I begin to dream about fall, how
this place will empty of people, the air will get cold and
leaves begin to turn. Everything will quiet down, everything
will become a skeleton of its summer self. Toward
the end of August I get nostalgic for what’s to come, for
that quiet time, time alone, peace and stillness, calm, all
those things the summer doesn’t have. The woodshed is
already full, the kindling’s in, the last of the garden soon
will be harvested, and then there will be nothing left to do
but watch fall play itself out, the earth freeze, winter come.
~David Budbill “Toward the End of August”
As the calendar page flips to September this morning, I feel nostalgic for what is coming.
Summer is filled with so much overwhelming activity due to ~18 hours of daylight accompanying weeks of unending sunny weather resulting in never-enough-sleep. Waking on a summer morning feels so brim full with possibilities: there are places to go, people to see, new things to explore and of course, a garden and orchard always bearing and fruiting out of control.
As early September days usher us toward autumn, we long for the more predictable routine of school days, so ripe with new learning opportunities. This week my teacher friend Bonnie orchestrated an innovative introduction to fifth grade by asking her students, with some parental assistance, to make (from scratch) their own personalized school desks that will go home with them at the end of the year. These students have created their own learning center with their brains and hands, with wood-burned and painted designs, pictures and quotes for daily encouragement.
For those students, their desks will always represent a solid reminder of what has been and what is to come.
So too, I welcome September’s quieting times ushering in a new cool freshness in the air as breezes pluck and toss a few drying leaves from the trees. I will watch the days play themselves out rather than feeling I must direct each moment. I can be a sponge.
I whisper hush … to myself.
Goodnight August, goodnight farm, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.