It was all shining blue topaz and the last pure stand of emerald before the YellowOrangeRusset paints the wood. It was the first scattered leaves and acorns underfoot. It was slanted sunbeams, secret shadows, and an unaccountable stillness like the space between breaths. It was a surprising, welcome coolness of the morning, languid, half-hearted warmth in the afternoon, and an indigo twilight so rich and deep that this must have been the time of year it first found a name.
Summer has been disentangling herself from us since we feted her arrival back in June. In July, we were BFF, dancing in the moonlight and complimenting her on her stylish dress, sense of humor, and refined appetites. In August, we lay by her side in the sweet evening grass, whispering secrets in her ears. We thought she understood, and returned our feelings.
But now we think it was all in our heads.
Because, September came, and Summer no longer gives us her undivided attention. To be sure, we, too, are distracted with all the things we set aside for Her. School and work and every task we think we need to accomplish before year-end clamors for our attention. All the outside forces – the election-year politics, the regular politics, the escalating economic fears, the violence next door and half a world away, even the weather – conspire to remove the last, clinging indolence. Yet, when we look up from our concerns for a moment, we find that Summer is looking off into the distance, southward.
Today, she stands in our doorway, a silhouette edged in gold, packed bag by her side. The flowing, jewel-toned gown and daisy-chain crown are gone, replaced by a traveling suit and hat, crisp and smart. Her smile is wistful, but her eyes are not sad. And you see that entreaties are useless and promises unnecessary. You both know. Better still, you understand.
Time to say Goodbye.