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.
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?