It's Over

”Summer has come and passed.
The innocent can never last.
Wake me up when September ends.”
Green Day, Wake me up When September Ends.

Every year, I find myself in a state of disbelief when the Summer is over. It began in childhood, riding bikes and playing ball in the streets every night for a blissful eternity until suddenly, rudely, my folks were calling me in early because I had school the next day. Though adulthood tends to blur the lines between the seasons, the transition from Summer into Fall is tangible and vicious. Right now I feel like August is before me, long hot days and warm evenings, the good of fewer musical gigs and more free weekends and the bad of the angry, angry swarms of bees and other stinging insects terrorizing patrons of the various lunch establishments near my job. The trees in the parking lot of my office always drop leaves a month or two early, and it always feels like early Autumn. Beyond those confines though, Summer is still to be found, isn't it?

No. It's now September. Wasn't Summer still ahead of me? How is it behind me now? The calendar isn't the only reminder of the changing seasons. Outside, rain batters my window panes, and will do so for the next three days. It's been raining for over a week, and overcast on Thursday and Friday, the two days it didn't rain. Summer hours ended, and yesterday was the last of eight days that my office closed early on Fridays, another future shifted instantly to my past. Between bad weather and musical obligations, I've neglected my lawn for the past two or three weeks. When I got home from gym early on Friday, I took care of it before the rain began, marveling at the fact that I was actually cold and there were already leaves. In the street, the marauding horde of children continued to play, oblivious to their fate in three short days, or perhaps aware and playing all the harder because of it. I noted their behavior when a car came by. Some continued to play baseball, stepping aside just slightly, while others threw a football. A few managed to step aside and give the drivers the same dirty looks they gave me when I beeped my car horn the other day to part the sea of preteens loitering at the base of my driveway. I played in those same streets with my friends, but we shouted “CAR!” and got the hell out of the way. Those days, the Summer of my youth, are also suddenly behind me without warning.

The end of Summer snuck up on me, but it's not like I didn't do anything this year. I had a good time, doing all the things I usually do and more. I played Memorial Day parades, a weekend that always signifies the unofficial start of the season. Once more I headed to the beach for an air show, one of the better things I did with my new camera this year. I found myself at the movies more than once these last few months, catching Mission Impossible III, X-men: The Last Stand, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Clerks II. The only two movies I didn't get out to see are A Scanner Darkly, and Miami Vice, but I heard the latter wasn't that great. I guess I'll find out on DVD.

It was a Summer of high points and low points. I went on a road trip with some friends to my first NASCAR race. For the first time in two years I ran a 3.5 mile race, and didn't do too badly. I went on a spontaneous pilgrimage one day and found sanctuary with birds on another. Even the Blog Party made an appearance this Summer. The lowest point though is definitely the loss of my favorite aunt. It's unreal that we're never going to see her again in this life, and surreal that she's been gone for over two months already. Life is a continuous circle, though. One of my friends from college and his wife now have a daughter, their first child. Another friend was due to have her second baby a few days ago. Life goes on.

Looking back, I guess I didn't really miss the Summer after all. I went to beaches and parades and movies and races and even went bowling this week. So much happened, that I miss the Summer now. Still, when this rain front finally leaves my area, there may yet be warm days ahead, more time to walk on the beach and hike through the woods. There are still movies to see and places to go. One of the wisest things an old supervisor once told me was that we need things to look forward to in life, if only to preserve our sanity. We tend to compartmentalize units of time into measurable quantities, when in reality it's all a continuous cycle, good things coming back around and maybe even some new things coming along. The end of one season is always the start of another. There's a better outlook than saying “it's over”.

It's not over.

It's beginning....


Blogger SwanShadow said...

My personal dread over the end of summer stems from the classic show tune, "Summertime," from Porgy and Bess.

Remember the first lines:
Summertime, and the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high...
Your daddy's rich, and your mama's good-lookin',
So, hush little baby, don't you cry.

Does the crying at the end mean that everything changes when summertime is over? Does life suddenly get harder? Do the fish all die? Does the cotton field burn to the ground? Does Daddy lose all his assets in a stock market reversal? Does Mama suffer a disfiguring accident?

I worry about this stuff.

9/02/2006 6:54 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

That is something to worry about. I also worry about Sublime's spin on the lyrics in "Doin' Time":

"Summer time and the livings easy
Bradley's on the microphone with ras M.G
All the people in the dance will agree that
We're well qualified to represent the LBC
we, me and Louie"

What is the LBC? And who the heck gave some people at a dance so much elective power to put some guys we never heard of in charge of the LBC? Why don't we have any say in the representatives? Or is the singer merely presuming he has the support of said people at the dance?

Inside every lyric is a new concern...

9/02/2006 11:16 PM  

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