I feel you coming softly and slowly to an end. With melons ripe in the garden and sunflowers rearing heavy heads are nodding off to sleep in the early afternoon heat. Their leaves like plates seem ready to catch seeds when they begin to drop from their centers.
After darkness begins to fall, I will come and water them so they will be with us still to greet autumn after the tomatoes are gone. After the musky smell of cantaloupe is washed away by evening rains. After the melons have been cut and chilled in the water tub of ice water. After we have feasted on all the sweet summer fruits and vegetables. After evenings on the back porch, after picnics by the lake, and after visits with grandparents and cousins, and when we begin to wish for school days.
After we have tired of the cicadas song, you will slip away without so much as a goodbye. We will ache for you for a time. Then a cool breezy sunny day will sweep in and we will wonder why we even liked you. We will be glad of your passing and happy for the season of apple picking and pumpkin pies and campfires.
We will relish the smell of burning leaves—your leaves shed like tears all day long after the first frost laden night—your leaves brown and brittle like love notes that fluttered from the trees. They will be raked up into huge heaps for children to leap and play in; and then burned of an morning while those children are off learning to read and write and spell words like September, autumn, harvest, chrysanthemum, and thanksgiving.
We will think back to you when we open jars of relish and tomatoes to make soups and when we make a berry cobbler or spread cherry jam on our toast. We will be glad of you and miss you a bit, but enjoy cozy evenings with family by the fireplace. We will miss you and by next spring late will be wishing you’d hurry back for us. We will be ready for your heat and for swimming and green grass and gardens.
So, Summer, I say my goodbyes now. So long and we will see you next year!