This is the time in the summer when one can’t help but have the sense of an ending. In ways subtle and not-so-subtle, autumn seems to be waiting in the wings for its cue to enter. The subtle: the shifting angle of sun giving several fewer minutes of light each day; the leaves have taken on that deeper, duller green rather than the more exuberant chartreuse of early summer; and the cicadas and crickets have set up their constant chorus throughout the day. The not-so-subtle: the ubiquitous advertisements for back-to-school supplies; the mum displays making their required annual appearance outside garden stores; and, most appalling, a Halloween candy display in the aisle of a local grocery trying to get an early plug in for their candy corn.
Noooooo! Don’t go, Summer!
Still, we know well that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every a purpose under heaven…”
So even us we live into these last, golden days of summer with its feeling of expansiveness, let us be praying for our younger children as they prepare to start school again, and for our older children as they begin to leave for college, graduate schools, new jobs, and other new beginnings. Let us be praying for all those embarking on new beginnings.
But summer isn’t over yet! We need to taste and savor the particular sweetness that comes when an ending is in sight. I think this final stanza of Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s poem, Summer Haibun captures well the paradox of both savoring and saving:
“There are not enough jam jars to can this summer sky at night. I want to spread those little meteors on a hunk of still-warm bread this winter. Any trace left on the knife will make a kitchen sink like that evening air
the cool night before
star showers: so sticky so
warm so full of light”.