Forget the Back to School flurry or the Labor Day Weekend grilling binge. Never mind the Proliferation of Pumpkin in everything from cream cheese to beer to coffee. I adjust the rhythms of my life to more subtle cues. There are still plenty of tomatoes on the vines but very few blossoms. The birds have discovered the corn is far enough along to eat off the cob. Just after dark, when I’m in bed reading, I’ve begun to hear geese honking. The humidity is lowered enough I can weed without drenching my clothes in sweat. Summer has run out of breath. Paused, panting slightly, it’s ready to walk down the path, over the horizon into the past.
I used to love the summer. The past few years I have not enjoyed it. The heat is hotter, the sun is stronger, the humidity is higher, and the human irritability factor has increased in proportion. Even my garden struggled. Plants rotted where they stood or wilted in the heat. Weeds marched over everything like invading Triffids. When summer has disappeared I will not be sorry. Like a good gardener, I will have weeded out the bad and saved the best. I will have trapped that best like so many jinn in bottles and jars; the heat in a jar of jalapenos, the sunsets in red tomato sauce, the color and scent in purple basil oils. I’ll enjoy summer all winter long. And I’ll enjoy it without the humidity!