Can you believe it’s August 1?

From one of my favorite Mary Schmich columns (Chicago Tribune, August 1, 2008):

If you merely count the days from summer’s official start in June until its finale in September, August 1 doesn’t even mark the summer midpoint. But it does mark the high point, which means the beginning of the end.

The light shifts, softens. The shadows on the leaves and the living room floor make you wonder: When exactly did the wane start?

People in other places may not wonder, but Chicagoans are connoisseurs of summer light. We spot the changes as surely as a foodie detects the difference between fennel and star-anise.

The light has most certainly changed, but there have been other reminders:

● This is the time of year I plan most of our theater, opera, and concert adventures for the upcoming season, and my calendar notes that single tickets are now on sale for performances at the Court Theatre and Remy Bumppo.

● My daughters have all but concluded their summer work obligations, and the younger daughter’s summer class ends this week.

● The linens, rugs, and homey touches for their university residence have been purchased and are arranged in orderly stacks in the “girl cave.”

I knew this summer would pass quickly because I so desperately wanted it to go on and on. Therefore, it should not surprise me that it is, in fact, nearly over. Still, there’s a bit more to savor, at least for a couple of weeks.

So we will sleep in.
Sit beneath the oaks and read.
Take a few more long bike rides.
Eat the cherry tomatoes we grew.
Keep an eye out for the hummingbirds and orioles that visit our yards.
Play Bananagrams. And Ticket to Ride. And Exploding Kittens.
Finish Season 9 of The X Files.
Learn something.
Talk. And talk some more.

And then we will pack. And then… Well, I will think about that later. Right now, I want to pretend the summer has just begun, that all of its hot, dew-drenched possibilities await me like the shelf of books I assembled over Memorial Day weekend with firm plans to finish everything by today.

Can you believe it’s August 1?

2 thoughts on “Can you believe it’s August 1?

  1. In reading your blog over multiple years–it’s my personal favorite of all the ones I read by the way–it seems to me that you live your life in seasons. I don’t know if this is intentional–or accurate–but it is beautiful because it strikes me as organic. It seems to be a more natural way to live.

    I often feel like I am trying to escape the tyranny of my life and all that is imposed on it from outside whereas you seem to meditatively plan according to various seasons. Those seasons may be the actual Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, or they may be theater seasons, or concert seasons, or even seasons of life.

    I don’t suppose I have any real purpose in pointing all of this out other that to say that I would like to be more intentional about living that way.


    • You always leave such encouraging and kind comments, Joseph. Thank you for that!

      The family-centered learning project may be most responsible for the rhythym my year has: Time to order praying mantis egg cases? Spring is coming! Time to create the family book club reading list? Summer is near. Time to assemble our theater / concert / opera wishlist? Autumn approaches. And so it goes. I am a pretty orderly person, so I have tended to see the cycles as a way of organizing my days, which, yes, gives me the time and space to be intentional about how I fill them.

      Your remarks have made me pause and thank the universe again for the gift that home education has been for our family. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.