Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Thinking Ahead

with 6 comments

One of the things about writing daily for a blog is the consistency of repeatedly coming upon the start of a new month. It keeps happening over and over again, I tell you. Like clockwork. Like turning pages of a calendar.

Somehow, we have reached the beginning of the month of August. Goodbye, July.

If I were sincerely successful in achieving the art of always living in the present moment, this transition to a new month would take on a lot less significance. But, August just oozes end of summer and throws me headlong into mental images of September.

The local media can’t stop talking about the great Minnesota State Fair already, which is the very definition of the start of September to me.

Cyndie served up locally grown sweet corn for dinner last night, because they grocery store had just received a batch and staff were in process of setting it out as she walked by the display. Summer may be a time for corn on the cob, but just-picked sweet corn is a delight that happens in August here and it always seems to end as quickly as it starts. If I blink while eating it, the school year will be starting by the time my eyes open.

And if ‘back to school’ ads in every form aren’t bad enough, the frighteningly early appearance of school buses on the road in August distorts every effort to avoid the trap of thinking ahead. Bus drivers are busy training and learning routes, so my mind leaps to planning how to time my travels to miss their constant stopping when the kids show up.

News reports from NFL training camps are all triggering a dormant remnant of youthful passion for the sport that always finds ways to rekindle within me despite my better judgement. Football is a mashup of fall associations that pulls all the way into winter and a playoff season that flows past the new year.

That definitely goes against staying grounded in the here and now.

Ultimately, there is one aspect that towers above all the rest of the issues of August. One that tears me away from the present moment in an ever-so-subtle –yet not so subtle at all– change that is absolutely happening in the precise minutes of each and every late-July/early-August day. It is the constant slipping of the sunrise and sunset times.

The first time I notice it is suddenly dark when I am leaving for work in the morning, I feel an uncanny urge to wear a flannel shirt. I start wondering where I stashed my driving gloves last April. I notice a nagging compulsion to fill the firewood rack on the back deck.

Today may only be August 1st, but this time of year unleashes a flood of energy dragging me uncontrollably ahead into September and beyond.

Actually, it’s all probably just a symptom of the powerful true root cause… Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year.

Happy August everyone!

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6 Responses

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  1. Re:it is the constant slipping of the sunrise and sunset times, that used to get to me, having known the darkness of the Scandinavian winter, but now, I view it with relief: the most recently planted camellia garden will soon have survived its first year; it has withstood the longest and hottest periods of direct sun with record temperatures. And I have come to enjoy the winter here, too, as it is the time the camellias come into flower – thousands and thousands of flowers working to express their individuality like no other plant on earth.

    Ian Rowcliffe

    August 2, 2017 at 2:01 am

    • Your camellia flowers are one of the special memories we carry from our visit. Remember Cyndie transplanting almost 100 of little starter plants in pots on our last full day on the farm? I recall watering with you in the high sun and learning you need to avoid leaving drops on leaves where the rays will magnify and burn spots. Happy to read the newest garden has survived the year. May they flower gloriously in the months ahead!

      johnwhays

      August 2, 2017 at 9:54 am

      • Yes, there is no stopping, Cyndie: those plants are now down one side of the Long Terrace and coming into their own. As you know, they grow very slowly. In the new garden, I have grouped the camellias by type such that they should flower at the same time, making more of an impact. I am really looking forward to seeing the result. But, yes, so many ever growing reminders of your helping hands here. You’ll be pleased to know that many of the camellias now have ‘tree’ status.

        Ian Rowcliffe

        August 2, 2017 at 10:42 am

  2. wow! August is what feels like real summer here. REALLY hot. Even into September often times. This summer has been mild, but I am ready for fall!

    Avery

    August 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

    • Our forecast is telling of a cold, wet north wind bringing October-like weather as soon as this Thursday! Yikes.

      johnwhays

      August 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      • Yikes is right! I am just praying for rain to break the heat and grow the grass!

        Avery

        August 1, 2017 at 9:24 am


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