The August sun fails to make it over the trees in our yard, and though the day is warm and dry and clear, it's chilly in the house. I promise myself an hour of reading in the side yard where the sun hits, and there, sounds are hushed, a subdued cricket, bees shunting from flower to flower, even the cars slipping down the street seem to have silenced their mufflers. The Phlox and Black-eyed Susans stand tall in the garden, but the daylily blossoms of June have wilted, their stalks browned to straw. In the oak tree, squirrels feast on acorns, scattering cracked shells all over the patio. But still, even as nature quiets, this is the glory time, the last two weeks in August, the first two in September, clean and fresh, the kind of days we’d invent if we were in charge.
College kids have packed up and headed back to their studies. Families take the last weeks of summer away, up north, on the Cape. Holes open up all around, help wanted signs, parking spaces downtown, seats available for breakfast at the diner. The sun sets before 8:00. We keep the windows open at night but pull up a blanket, the bedspread. In the morning, we rise in low light and shiver, snatch at sweat shirts, warm our hands on cups of coffee.
For these few weeks, we live inside a hush, a yellowing, a soft and muted coasting we are powerless to stop.
We pause to admire all that is left of beautiful, while the season slides.