Every year around the middle of August there is a shift in the weather here. When I was young and spent my summers on the beach every day, I noticed the change immediately. Amazing how Mother Nature gets your attention when you're spending ten to twelve hours outdoors in a bathing suit, with the sky for a roof, the sand for a rug, and nothing between you and the breeze blowing off an ocean of lake water.
The shift never seemed subtle to me. It suddenly announced its presence one day on the wind. Like a tap on my shoulder. Hey, time to think about saying goodbye to all this. Technically the beaches are open until Labor Day. But summer was always packing up a good two weeks before that.
One day the breeze would blow warm, humid and slightly fragrant, the next day there was a river of coolness underneath the heat and a different smell. Nothing obvious, just different. The freshness was no longer there. The light seemed to change too, becoming slightly bluer, more urgent, not quite as bright and white. Lazy and languid.
This year, I noticed the change when I walked outside on Monday. The breeze had a definite edge to it. Summer is having symptoms of menopause. She's past her prime. What's the date today, I remember thinking. Monday was August 13th. The shift came a couple of days early this year.
But it's here. We may have more hot and humid days, but the wind won't smell or feel quite the same. I always wondered if it had to do with the leaves on the trees. Maybe the middle of August is when they stop doing whatever it is they do and start going dormant before giving it all up for fall.
Maybe my modern, 21st century self is just getting in touch with my inner primordial self. For a short period at least.
Maybe I’m just hungry for pumpkin pie.