To be honest, I hate to see summer end. I am not the one to post memes about long cool nights, hoodies, campfires, and hot cocoa. I love the summer. I love the long hot days, the sound of the cicadas in the trees, big sips of sweet tea and crunching the ice that sneaks past my lips. I love running on my trail in the summer, watching the flowers bloom and the bugs flitter about. I love trying to outrun the horseflies. I don’t love the horseflies. Those suckers hurt when they bite, but I do love to outrun them.
I spent the first part of my life in one long continuous summer, just a few miles from the beach, really a simple bike ride. I never knew a winter day or a fallen leaf. It was always summer. The beach was the same in December and July. Warm and consistent. That’s summer to me. That’s the feeling of my youth.
I felt the slightest bit of sadness on my trail this week. The shadows are growing longer, a few more leaves have littered my way. I didn’t see any horseflies, although I won’t shed a tear for them. The light is fading. Soon we will be turning the clocks back or forward, I never remember which and it will be dark out even earlier. The park will close when it gets dark and I will miss my trails for a while. I won’t be able to get there after work in time. I will have to just go on the weekends. Even then, I probably won’t since it will not only get darker earlier, but colder.
The cold and dark will have their time and I will retreat back into the cave of my home. Living in one long summer for the first half of my life, I never appreciated the dark. It has its time, too. I fought it back for a long time. Now I just begrudgingly welcome it.
I’m watching the trail change right before my eyes. The leaves in the trees thin, I can see deeper into the woods. The flowers fall. The animals recede into the shadows, the little fawns that I’ve watched grow, catching glimpses of them all summer in the forest as I run by, are losing their spots, they look like awkward teenagers.
The trail is changing. Preparing. Making a way for the next season. I can feel that change is in the air.