Since moving to Florida, I have come to realize that summer is more a state of mind than it is a season.
For me, June 21st is the day I queue up my Summertime PlayList on my iPhone. I also shun the various IPAs (though not entirely) and hunt for Summer Ale.
Living on Long Island has conditioned me to prefer Blue Point Summer Ale over other varieties of the same concoction, but I am not really a summer ale snob and, in fact, there is not a summer ale that I have refused to imbibe.
As we are in the middle of the Labor Day weekend, my thoughts naturally turn to of autumn and the seasonal brews that follow. Yet the end of summer is more about the season than the beverage.
On Labor Days past it was a ritual for Eileen and me to stand and clap for the lifeguards at Ponquogue beach as the final whistle of summer sound.
It was a joyous moment to show our gratitude to the young women and men who protected all the beachgoers who populated our beautiful shores even as we lamented the passing of another summer.
Tomorrow would be a school day for our children and work for Eileen and me would resume. The weather would still be summer-like, and the calendar would still proclaim that summer was the season but you knew in your heart of hearts that summer was over.
Despite the prospect of continued 90 degree days for the foreseeable future down here in Bradenton, I cannot escape that same feeling that summer is once again eluding me. Another season of my life has ended.
Why is it that the passing of summer brings on this melancholy?
Who feels sad when autumn evolves into winter? The last day of autumn is a mere five days before Christmas. Surely no one is sad about that.
Then when winter ebbs and spring springs to life no need to wax poetic about winter’s passing. Baseball is right around the corner and who isn’t happy about that?
Then, summer comes, and we are all kids again remembering that last day of school and the eternal bliss of sleeping late and staying out after dark.
But, with the last of the Summer Ale comes the promise of Pumpkin Beer so, you see, life, when the chill of autumn is upon us (and I use that term very loosely down in Florida), retains the joy of that first day of summer and the last day of school.