Summer is ending

end of summer - 1


Summer is coming to an end, despite our dry and smoky skies.  Here we are, parched for water, and the news is Houston’s devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, with the most rainfall ever recorded in North America.  No matter how many visuals I look at to put that much water into perspective, I can’t do it.  But, I do try to keep in perspective that my situation will change and eventually there will be a crisp and clear Fall day with blue skies and sparkling waters, which I’ll be able to enjoy in the comfort of my safe and dry home.  Tens of thousands of people are cramped into shelters and sleeping on the floor, knowing their home is gone and life will change in ways they never imagined, never chose.  Many never got to see the light of another day.

The earth is turning, nevertheless.  It is so dark in the mornings.  The bushes and shrubs are burnt orange and covered with dry dust, not just because they’ve been stressed in the drought.  The trees have that frozen in place look, as if they are holding their breath.  It is the time of year to close up.  Our friends staying with us have flown back to Europe, after two weeks of summer immersion.  In addition to swimming and sailing, we took in the Northwest Fair, a rodeo, a concert, hiking in Glacier, and a magical morning watching the eclipse from the end of our dock.  The squirrels are busy making a mess of the pine cones and geese are now making their V’s high in the hazy skies over dry yellow fields.  The Lutheran Camp up the lake has closed down and school started this week.  The hummingbirds are gone, but there are birds passing through which I haven’t seen all summer.   Time moves on and everything changes as it always does, in its own rhythm.  We are just passing through.

Invisible Visitors, by David Budbill

All through August and September
            thousands, maybe
tens of thousands, of feathered
            creatures pass through
this place and I almost never see
            a single one. The fall
wood warbler migration goes by here
            every year, all of them,
myriad species, all looking sort of like
            each other, yellow, brown, gray,
all muted versions of their summer selves,
            almost indistinguishable
from each other, at least to me, although
            definitely not to each other,
all flying by, mostly at night, calling to each
            other as they go to keep
the flock together, saying: chip, zeet,
            buzz, smack, zip, squeak—
sounds reassuring that we are
            all here together and
heading south, all of us just passing
            through, just passing
through, just passing through, just
            passing through.


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