It would always seem to me that, once August had arrived, summer was on a fast track to autumn. Getting off the train at Speonk at 8:05, I would be greeted by an ever sinking sun so that by the time I arrived at home, darkness had enveloped East Quogue.
Although I loved the change of seasons, this loss of daylight would bring with it a fair amount of despondency.
Now, living in Florida, and no train to chronicle the shortening of the day, I find my self as despondent as ever on this first day of August.
My mood is not in the least affected by the approach of autumn, as, if truth be told, I cannot wait for its arrival and the chill in the air that will accompany it. Undoubtedly, the days of ninety-degree temperatures will give way to the balmy breezes of the high eighties.
No, it is not the realization that summer is on the wane but rather that, for me, and I am sure you as well, this has been the summer of our discontent.
No matter how I persevered in listening to my Summertime Playlist, the songs never were enough to make me smile. Instead, they served only to remind me of days that are no more. While it is often a pleasant exercise to remember past days of carefree bliss, during a summer such as this, it is only a slap in the face and a hideous reminder of the summer that we have lost.
Ironically, like the entire year, the summer of 2020 has flown by. Not even the sweltering heat of Florida has protracted its effect on viewing the calendar. August will seem to end as quickly as July has and, hoping no hurricanes hit our shores, September, no doubt, will turn into October long before our senses tell us it should.
Again, I hear my mother saying, “Don’t be wishing your life away.”
But, Mom, that is the point. I am seventy years old now, and time is precious to me, and despite not spending time according to my desire, time has, nonetheless, wished away on its own.
No poet, not even Mr. William Shakespeare, should dare to ask, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”?
Don’t dare compare anyone you love to a day of fear, loneliness, and exhaustion.
Maybe we will return to a bucolic summer’s day next year?
I have tried to ignore these sentiments, but to deny their existence would seem dishonest. It would seem to say that I do not need other people in my life. I do not miss seeing my children. I do not miss Scout and Rudy. I do not miss our trip to London. I do not miss baseball and all the things that made for a happy life.
Ignoring these is shameful.
Still, we have hope, and we have all had a dramatic lesson in love and what it means to have love and what it means to give love.
Despite my flirtation with the magical world of gloom, I have realized that in many ways, I have been closer to people than in other pandemic-lacking times. Trough the wonders of our technology, we can visit remotely with our family and friends. It has served as a lifeline for all of us.
I even feel my Saturday morning riffs on the iMac keyboard has helped to raise a giggle or two (you know when I don’t depress the bejesus out of you like today).
We all just want this to be over.
Let’s hope that when I write on September 1st that the approach of fall will be a time of optimism and joy.
I am discontented today, but I won’t be tomorrow.