Armchair Peregrinations

August 31, 2003

The end of August. The end of summer. Labor Day weekend and I have to work. Not that it much matters except for a lost three-day weekend which could have been spent blissfully away from work.

I have never done much on Labor Day. To me it has always simply meant no school for one more day. The start of school the next day. Or, the end of summer. Some kind of demarcation line. One day it is freedom and summer, and the next it is the obligations, responsibilities, and stress of the new beginnings that always came with the start of a school years, whether lower grades or college. So this holiday has nothing to do with labor for me. It is a kind of lost holiday. Just a reminder of time passing.

There is still a lot of summer left here as far as heat and humidity. At least another month. The sun is blaring white hot amid puffy clouds all week as I look out the window. The wind barely stirs. It's beautiful to observe from the comfort of my air conditioned room. But step outside and it's like a thunder clap of heat delivered with gusto.

But that is the way it is in summer. The heat and rain make things all too alive. That is the best thing about this time of year. Green, verdant. Full of sounds and smells that are lost in the coming seasons. I am going to like the hot weather a little bit longer, and forget about the fact that I have never had any Labor Day picnics with friends or a special person in my life.

August 10, 2003

Summer is fast drawing to a close. Mid August and I have have not recorded an entry in days.. since the end of July. That is what happens this time of year. The days slip by in that summer mindframe in which time gets altered and the season seems to be on autopilot.

It's strange and yet more familiar this year since was have had so much rain. Everything is green and verdant. The ground is saturated basically. Last year the drought was in its fourth year. Major rivers were drying up. The landscape was parched. What a difference a year makes.

Coming back from Sumter yesterday, we got caught in one of those fierce, wind-driven thunderstorms that drive the rain in sheets again the car window. So powerful we couldn't see in front of us and had to pull off the road for about 15 minutes, watching in awe this powerful display of Nature. Ten miles later, the rain abated and clearings in the sky appeared. Life returned to normal. It's not often one has to pull of the road for a rainstorm. How tiny we are in the face of that brute force. Elemental.

Today is sunny and hot with barely a breeze blowing. Schools are starting back. Work is getting busier. The last of summer is looming ahead, although one would not guess it. The rain has left our trees looking permanently fresh and new, healthy without any trace of drought-stricken leaves. It will be this way until well into September when autumn begins to show in the cracks of summer.

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